Wednesday November 2, 2022


Climate change and human activity have impacts that ripple through all ecosystems. Their negative effects can lead to population imbalances across these various ecosystems. While populations of many species are declining because they are unable to survive the rapid environmental changes, this is often not the case for venomous aquatic life like sea urchins and jellyfish. In fact, these populations are increasing across the globe, with damaging effects on other living aquatic organisms and human activity.

Jellyfish are one of the main types of marine animals that have experienced rapid population growth in recent years. Jellyfish are not actually fish — they are a type of plankton. Instead of swimming, plankton drift through the ocean, pushed by the currents. Jellyfish have been around for 500 million years and are one of the few types of plankton that is visible to the naked eye. Because of their classification as plankton, they are at the bottom of the ocean’s food pyramid and are consumed by seabirds, fish (including sharks), turtles and whales.

Jellyfish can range from about one centimeter to 40 centimeters (0.4 to 15 inches) in size, but some can be much larger. This includes the Lion’s Mane jellyfish which can be up to 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) wide with tentacles stretching over 15 meters (49 feet)!

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