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Home > Haith's Wildlife Blog > Adventures with an iPhone: Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)

Adventures with an iPhone: Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)

Monday, 29th July 2019

This week’s adventures with an iPhone revealed the kind of jelly no-one wants to be accompanied with a scoop of ice cream at the seaside – a jellyfish!
Of the six types of jellyfish found in the UK, the Moon jellyfish thankfully has one of the weakest stings (being unable to penetrate human skin). It’s identifiable by four white rings and is about the size of a dinner plate.
 
I found this one washed up on a popular beach in Lincolnshire. That’s not completely accurate as it was my dog who found it – it stopped him in his tracks (during one of his see how much sea froth I can cover myself in sessions). He’s turning out to be quite the naturalist, but he's yet to master the record button on the iPhone.
 

 
The Moon jellyfish is common and can be found throughout the world’s oceans. Here in Lincolnshire, I’m told they can be seen washed up on beaches just about all year round. 
 
I confess to knowing almost nothing about jellyfish – other than to avoid them. But wait! Not so fast! I return to work today for a little desktop research and uncover that the Moon jellyfish is seemingly no threat to humans – but I still wouldn’t want to come face to face with it in the water.
 
According to the Wildlife Trusts who are chief protectors of the Lincolnshire coastline – “Jellyfish are 95% water and have no brain, blood or heart,” and they have “delicate tentacles that hang down from the sides of the bell.” Which begs a question – what do they eat given they can live for more than a year? Apparently, “They catch their plankton prey using a layer of mucus over their bells before passing the microscopic meals into their mouthparts using special tentacles,” reveals the wildlife charity. All this without a brain? I for one will never look at a jellyfish the same way again.

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