16 posts categorized "Animals: Jellies"

November 07, 2013

Long-lived and going strong

Grandad vintage

As veterinary science advances at a clip that rivals human medicine, animals in aquariums and zoos are living not just healthier but also longer lives. Australian lungfish Granddad, shown above in 1933, celebrated his 80th anniversary at Shedd earlier this year. Along with being Shedd’s oldest animal, he’s also the oldest fish in any public zoological facility in the world. But is he a senior or is he just middle-aged? Like 60 is the new 40 for a lot of people, several of Shedd’s longevity-busters are in their prime, thanks to excellent care—and, of course, good genes.

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October 22, 2013

Wispy Jellies Comb the Water for Prey

Shedd Aquarium Comb Jellies

The comb jellies are among the few species you’ll see in the Jellies special exhibit that weren’t raised at Shedd.

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March 19, 2013

New on View: Edible Jellies

Edible Jelly_blog
No, we’re not talking about the kind you eat with peanut butter and bread.

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July 26, 2012

Rare Black Sea Nettles

Black Sea Nettle blog
The black sea nettles are not only new to Shedd’s Jellies special exhibit; they are also new to science. Chrysaora achlyos was only described and named—scientists’ process of recognizing a new species—in 1997, although the large, deep purple nettles were known from photographs taken in 1926.

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May 16, 2012

One brush with comb jellies is not enough: They’re back!

Comb_jelly_blogComb jellies are back on view in the Jellies special exhibit. A new species to the exhibit, Mnemiopsis leidyi, is native to the temperate waters along the coasts of North and South America—our combs were collected off New England—but it has found its way by ship ballast water into the Black, Caspian and Mediterranean Seas. While combs are present in coastal waters throughout the year, says special exhibits collection manager Mark Schick, “good concentrations are sporadic, so availability is, too.”

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May 08, 2012

Jellies through 2013: A sure-fire fascination

UpsideDown1The Jellies special exhibit has proved to be so popular that it’s been extended through 2013. Look for a rotation of species, including some surprises, along with our in-house favorites: the elegantly simple moons, frilly sea nettles and those inverted invertebrates, the upside-down jellies.

More than 1.1 million guests have been mesmerized by these diaphanous animals, which rhythmically pulse, gently drift on circulating currents, or even ricochet around their custom-crafted habitats.

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April 11, 2012

Meet the Hairy Jellies

Hairy jelliesThe hairy jelly, with its clear, squarish bell that surrounds white filamentous reproductive organs, looks a little like a light bulb. But the seasonal species in the Jellies special exhibit gets its common name from the thick fringe of fine, transparent tentacles that hang from the edge of the bell.

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February 15, 2012

Sea nettle of a different stripe

Purple-striped-sea-nettle2Each species in Shedd’s Jellies special exhibit has some stunning attribute that sets it apart from the others and makes you stop and look. The purple-striped sea nettle is a study in contrasts. The silver-white bell has 16 deep red rays that will darken to purple as the jelly matures. Between the rays are fine speckles in a similar hue. From the inside center of the large bell, four ruffled white oral arms can trail a foot or more while eight maroon tentacles hang down like ribbons from the bell’s edge.

The stripes on the bell make it easier to picture the inner workings of jellies. Small planktonic prey are zapped by the stinging cells on the tentacles and then carried along the tentacles and oral arms into the jelly’s stomach. Digested nutrients course through the body in tubular canals associated with those colorful rays on the bell. What isn’t digested goes back out the way it came in, through the mouth.

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January 09, 2012

Full-moon jellies

Moon-jellyThe moon jellies have transcended “mesmerizing.” With some nearly a foot in diaphanous diameter, they are now stop-you-in-your-tracks breathtaking. Vertical and stretching into flattened translucent white disks, these big jellies look like full moons rising before they pulse their bells shut again.

On the recent afternoon that I visited Jellies, aquarist Maureen Koneval was perched on a platform in front of the special exhibit’s introductory moon jelly habitat and pouring a rust-red cloud of 2-day-old brine shrimp into the gently circulating water.

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September 08, 2011

Meet the Jellies: Blue Blubber

Jelly In stark contrast to the dreamy moons, dangling nettles, drifting egg yolks and downright sedentary upside-down jellies, the blue blubber jellies are like rubber balls: compact, dense and bouncing all over their habitat with staccato pulses. Occasionally they bounce off each other like squishy bumper cars. No blood, no bones, no brain, no eyes....

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