Wednesday April 27, 2022

Los Angeles Times

Researchers in Monterey Bay have discovered a new species of deep-sea jelly that looks a little different from others that float through the ocean’s depths.

Dubbed Atolla reynoldsi, the scarlet crown jelly was first found by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute researchers 15 years ago as it swam more than 4,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. Now, they’ve published the scientific description of the relatively large new species of Atolla in the scientific journal Animals. Scientists prefer the term jelly or medusa over jellyfish because the creatures are not fish.

Among the telltale traits of Atolla reynoldsi? The lack of the trailing tentacle for which the Atolla jelly is known. The elongated tentacle can stretch up to six times the diameter of its bell — a feature researchers believe aids in capturing prey.

“When we started seeing this, it caught our attention,” said George Matsumoto, a senior education and research specialist at MBARI. “It also has these really interesting spikes on it, or papillae. It looks sort of like the spokes on a bicycle wheel.”

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