Natural History

Moon Jellyfish

posted: 05/29/13
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Jeff Foott/DCI

Moon jellyfish are found along the coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. These "moon jellies," as they're often called, are highly adaptable and can survive in temperatures ranging from 43?F to 88?F, though they typically prefer warm and tropical waters.

Every night, moon jellyfish swarm by the thousands to feed on plankton that rise from the ocean depths — a cycle that jellyfish have been following since life on Earth began. They swim horizontally, keeping their bell near the surface at all times and catching food with their tentacles, which can spread over a large area to snare lots of prey.

Contrary to popular opinion, jellyfish aren't mindless blobs; scientists are discovering that they're smarter than we think. They're wired with neurons and delicate senses, and some even have complex eyes and can navigate.

EXPLORE THE SAVAGE COASTS: Lion's Mane Jellyfish | Manatee | Killer Whale | Olive Ridley Sea Turtle | Bottlenose Dolphin | Horseshoe Crab | Peregrine Falcon | Spinner Shark | Gray Whale | Moon Jellyfish | All North American Animals

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