Kristina has taught a variety of elementary classes and has a master's degree in elementary education.
What is a Jellyfish?
Jellyfish are sea creatures found in oceans and seas around the world. Jellyfish are not made of jelly and aren't even fish! They are marine invertebrates. Marine invertebrates are animals without backbones that live in the ocean.
The name jellyfish comes from their jelly-like bodies. Their boneless bodies may remind you of a slimy, deflated balloon under water.
There are over 2,000 types of jellyfish in the world. Jellyfish come in lots of colors and sizes. They can be super tiny, like the eraser of a pencil, or as huge as a small car. The many types of jellyfish come in all colors of the rainbow - some even glow in the dark!
Jellyfish Body Parts
Jellyfish have translucent (or almost see-through) bell-shaped bodies. They have a mouth at the bottom of their body and their stomachs are inside. Since they're most are nearly see-through, you can see all the food they eat! Could you imagine having a window to your stomach? You could watch your lunch digest!
Jellyfish have tentacles hanging from their body, which can be poisonous. They will trap other animals in their tentacles to eat. Jellyfish can also sting animals with their tentacles to protect themselves.
Jellyfish are often slow and can't swim quickly to catch food. Instead, they have oral arms to grab food and bring it to their mouth. Oral arms are like tentacle tongues.
Where do Jellyfish Live?
Jellyfish are aquatic creatures, which means they live in water. They live in all seven oceans of the world. Certain species of jellyfish like cold arctic oceans and some like warm tropical oceans. They can live in both deep, dark parts of the ocean and shallow shorelines.
Jellyfish are not great swimmers. They need help from ocean currents or waves to move through the water. Jellyfish are often taken wherever the ocean pushes them, just like a leaf on a windy day.
What do Jellyfish Eat?
Jellyfish are carnivorous animals. This means they eat other sea creatures like fish, shrimp, crabs, and even other jellyfish! Jellyfish can't float well with a stomach full of food. Imagine a helium balloon with a bowl full of cereal inside. The balloon would instantly sink to the floor. Jellyfish have to digest their meals quickly so their bodies stay light and can float easily in the ocean.
Interesting Jellyfish Facts
It is believed that jellyfish have lived on earth for millions of years, even before dinosaurs!
The lion's mane jellyfish is one of the largest jellyfish ever recorded. One of these recorded had tentacles that were 120 feet long - that's taller than a 10-story building!
A jellyfish doesn't have bones, blood, a heart, or even a brain.
Most jellyfish only live a few hours to a few months, but the Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish can live forever. After becoming an adult, this type of jellyfish can change itself into its baby form!
A large group of jellyfish is called a bloom or smack.
Jellyfish are marine invertebrates that live in oceans all over the world. They are bell-shaped animals with tentacles and oral arms, which they use to eat other animals because they are carnivorous. Many jellyfish have stinging tentacles that can harm or stun prey.
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