Moon Jellyfish Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Pier

Heather has taught high school and college science courses, and has a master's degree in geography-climatology.

Moon jellyfish are probably the most recognizable type of jellyfish in the world. They have big blobby bodies and tiny tentacles that hang down from their body. Want to know more about them? Keep reading!

What is a Moon Jellyfish?

If you have ever seen a picture of a jellyfish, there is a very good chance that it was a moon jellyfish. They are one of the most common types of jellyfish in the world.

Moon Jellyfish are a type of animal that does not have a backbone. Animals that don't have backbones are called invertebrates.

Moon jellyfish get their names because the main part of their body is shaped like a moon, and their bodies look like they are made out of jelly. The only part of their name that isn't completely correct is the fish part. Jellyfish are not actually fish, because fish have backbones, and jellyfish do not.

These are moon jellyfish. They are one of the most recognizable types of jellyfish.

Where Do Moon Jellyfish Live?

Moon jellyfish have to live in saltwater. If they are put into a freshwater environment, like your goldfish's bowl, they will die.

They prefer to live in calm saltwater locations, so they tend to be found in bays and protected areas along the coasts of continents. They prefer warmer water, so you usually see them in tropical places.

They can live in colder water - in fact, you can find them in the northern areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. But like you, they prefer to stay warm and live in a warmer location if they can.

Jellyfish like to live where the water is calm, because it is easier for them to move around and find food.

What Do Moon Jellyfish Eat?

Moon jellyfish eat whatever drifts near them. Since they live in the oceans, they eat a lot of seafood. This includes animals like tiny shrimp, fish eggs, and microscopic plants and animals. They catch their food in the tentacles that hang down from the main part of their body.

They have lots of tentacles, which makes it a lot easier to catch food than if they only had a few. They spread their tentacles out as wide as they can, like a big blanket, to try to catch as much food as possible.

Moon jellyfish are usually almost see-through or clear in color, but their color will change depending on what they have been eating lately. They will turn the color of whatever food they are eating, kind of like flamingos turn pink because of what they are eating.

In fact, jellyfish can turn pink like flamingoes if they happen to be eating the same kind of food as flamingoes. Light purple, pink, yellow, and orange are all common moon jellyfish colors after eating. Aren't you glad you don't turn the color of the foods you eat?

This jellyfish is looking a bit yellow. It probably ate some yellow food recently.

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