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January 12, 2012

Lions Mane Jellyfish

A lions mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata). Every time a jellyfish pulses its bell, it draws water and entrained prey to its tentacles.

The lions mane is one of the largest species of jellyfish. Clumping into giant formations, their tentacles--which may individually reach 100 feet in length--are lined with toxic stingers. That's longer than a 100-foot-long blue whale. The largest lions manes live in Arctic waters.

To learn more about the basics of jellyfish biology, what scientists have learned thus far about the worldwide increase in jellyfish populations, and the causes of jellyfish swarms and how they affect both human and marine life, see the NSF Special Report, "Jellyfish Gone Wild!" (Date of Image: unknown)

Credit: Sean Colin, Roger Williams University, and John Costello, Providence College

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