|It's a Jelly-Eat-Jelly World|
Posted by Merry on May 08, 2012 at 16:09:38:|
Ho-hum. Another descent along the anchor line and there’s nothing in the water except these darn sea gooseberries. I’m not asking for much – a large comb jelly, perhaps a fried egg jelly, anything larger than a quarter. At only 5/8”, the abundant and ever-so-common sea gooseberry, Pleurobrachia bachei, doesn’t usually promise thrills and chills. But this day is different.
Propelled by 8 ciliated comb rows, sea gooseberries troll the water dragging 2 retractable tentacles. When fully extended, fine side-branches on the tentacles have specialized cells which adhere to fish larvae, copepods, eggs, and small crustaceans. My camera occasionally captures some of the larger copepods, which are barely visible to the naked eye.
What a treat to witness the food chain in action!
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