Baby Jellyfish: 6 Amazing Facts

Jellyfish are characterized by their long, flowing tentacles and gelatinous bodies with bells fashioned like umbrellas. But there are other stages in the jellyfish cycle, and this is referred to as the medusa, or mature form. In the juvenile stage of their life cycle, baby jellyfish are found. Let’s have a look at six images and six fascinating facts about these stunning jellyfish babies.

1. A Baby Jellyfish Is Called a “Ephyra”

The group class known as Schyphozoa, or “true jellyfish,” is a part of the phylum Cnidaria. Throughout their life cycle, these jellyfish transition between two distinct body forms: the medusa and the polyp.

Medusae produce sperm and eggs through sexual reproduction. After a few days of growth, the fertilized eggs develop into free-swimming planulae larvae, which cling to a hard surface to develop into flower-like polyps. These polyps can effectively catch and consume animals with their tentacles and have fully developed digestive systems. Polyps can reproduce asexually through either strobilation or the creation of a genetically identical polyp.

A polyp undergoes strophilation as it begins to lengthen and thin, reabsorbing its tentacles and splitting into ten to fifteen layers. The strobila is this column with layers. When the strobila’s outer layer separates, a free-floating, individual baby jellyfish with muscles, nerves, and a digestive system called an ephyra is created. Growing into adult jellyfish, or the medusa body form, are the ephyra larvae, or juvenile jellyfish.

2. Baby Jellyfish Do Not Have Stinging Tentacles Like Adult Jellyfish Do

Unlike adult jellyfish, ephyra, or larval jellyfish, lack the closed umbrella-shaped bell. They also lack stinging tentacles. The bell of a young jellyfish is made up of immature lobes. Although they may appear delicate, young jellyfish are actually perfectly suited to swim, feed, and develop into adult jellyfish. The young jellyfish begins to generate tiny, stumpy tentacles as it grows older, but they eventually extend and becoming opaque. The bell of the newborn jellyfish begins to take on the distinctive shape of the medusa form as it grows, and its oral arms form, gradually becoming to resemble the adult jellyfish.

3. Baby Jellyfish Are Tiny

When they first emerge from the polyp, baby jellyfish are very little. Their bell will have a diameter of no more than a few millimeters or less than one-eighth of an inch at this point. As soon as they swim away and begin to feed, they begin to grow. The diameter of the bells on most mature adult jellyfish ranges from less than half an inch to almost sixteen inches. The lion’s mane jellyfish typically has a bell that is three feet wide, however some of these jellyfish can have bells that are over six feet in diameter and have tentacles that reach over a hundred feet.

4. Baby Jellyfish Eat in a Different Way

The jellyfish’s eating habits are determined by the stage of its life cycle. when a result, when a jellyfish grows, its diet alters. During the polyp stage, the jellyfish begins to establish its digestive system. At this phase, the jellyfish is stationary and will consume everything it can catch with its tentacles that is drifting by. Normally, phytoplankton and zooplankton would be involved. The jellyfish can swim freely during the ephyra, or baby, stage, at which point they begin to hunt and target larger food to consume. Into the adult jellyfish stage, they carry on in this manner.

Like adult jellyfish, baby jellyfish are energetic hunters, however their limited size does limit what they can consume. Additionally, they have a slightly different diet than adult jellyfish. The developing bell lobes of baby jellyfish are used to direct food toward their mouths. They have their mouth in the middle of their bell and on their underside. The adult jellyfish utilize their oral arms to guide food toward their mouths and their tentacles to stun, immobilize, or kill its prey.

5. Baby Jellyfish Have a Slightly Different Diet than Adult Jellyfish

The majority of mature jellyfish consume copepods, fish larvae, and other tiny creatures that get entangled in their tentacles. Some people do, however, harvest microscopic creatures as well as algae or phytoplankton from the water. Young jellyfish mostly consume phytoplankton and zooplankton, which includes tiny fish food particles, small eggs, larvae, and other ephyra.

6. Baby Jellyfish Inhabit the Planktonic Range

Both in deep ocean water and in shallow waters and sunny locations, baby jellyfish are frequently found close to the coast. Baby jellyfish, which are weak swimmers and belong to the planktonic range, are typically found in the ocean’s tides and currents. Often, young jellyfish just drift with the currents while floating in the sea. By doing this, the jellyfish are able to spread out around the ocean and make sure that not all of their young live in the same place. This will guarantee the survival of the jellyfish population in the event that conditions in other areas start to worsen and also enable the young jellyfish to develop other potential appropriate habits where conditions are good.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can Baby Jellyfish Bite?

Indeed, when young jellyfish see humans swimming in the ocean, they can attach themselves to their bodies and swimwear through biting. Baby jellyfish are popularly called “sea lice” since they are born during the breeding season in the summer. Jellyfish larvae typically form huge “blooms” or swarms.

Can Baby Jellyfish Sting?

Indeed, young jellyfish can sting, particularly if they get stuck in a swimsuit. Little baby jellyfish are difficult to spot. They are easily able to pierce garments, become stuck, and begin to sting.

How Does a Baby Jellyfish Sting?

When a baby jellyfish’s nematocysts are stimulated, the jellyfish will sting. This occurs when the location of the newborn jellyfish shifts or when the salinity of its environment varies. The young jellyfish will then launch a barbed spear and blast poison into a target, such a person’s skin, using a spring-like mechanism in its tentacles.

Does a Baby Jellyfish Sting Hurt?

The sting of a newborn jellyfish is not as painful as that of an adult jellyfish. Your body’s rash or skin irritation is typically the result of a tiny jellyfish sting. The most delicate areas of the body are where this frequently happens. Usually, the rash appears within twenty-four hours. The rash may be accompanied by additional symptoms. Frequent symptoms of this condition include headaches, nausea, fever, and chills. The rash frequently swells up and develops pustules and raised bumps. The raised pimples can be quite itchy and rather red. They can also be exceedingly unpleasant.

How Long Does a Baby Jellyfish Sting Last?

Most people find that the symptoms are minimal and go away in a few hours. It might, however, take a few days or even a few weeks for some people. Certain cases may be highly serious and present with long-lasting flu-like symptoms that require medical intervention to treat. People with compromised immune systems, allergies, and children are particularly vulnerable to adverse reactions from the sting of a juvenile jellyfish.

What Can I Do When a Baby Jellyfish Stings Me?

It may be possible to render some of the toxins and poisons in the nematocysts inactive by applying vinegar to the affected area. Take thirty seconds at a time and repeat this. Use seawater in its place if vinegar isn’t available. Use warm salt water to wash the region instead of fresh water. And refrain from cleaning or rubbing the area. Using an over-the-counter anti-itch ointment or anti-inflammatory cream could help, but if symptoms increase or continue, get medical attention.

What Can I Do to Avoid a Baby Jellyfish Sting?

By taking off your swimwear and taking a shower as soon as you step out of the water, you can reduce the danger. Nevertheless, the swimsuit’s fabric may trap the young jellyfish. As a result, it is suggested that you rinse the swimsuit in rubbing alcohol or home vinegar before cleaning and reusing it. Another option is to cover up your swimwear with a T-shirt that has a little neckline.