Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cauliflower Jellyfish, Cephea

Image: Derek Keats via Flickr
Crazy looking jellyfish! Part cauliflower, part whole bunch of other stuff.

There are a few jellyfish in the genus Cephea that look like this, including one called Cephea cephea. So good they named it twice. They are sometimes called Crown Jellyfish, which may cause some confusion with completely unrelated Crown Jellyfish like the Atollas.

Image: Derek Keats via Flickr
If they do have a crown, it's an incredibly odd one. It's purple! With knobs on! It looks like one of those EEG hats they use to read people's brain waves (not, alas, the epitome of fine literature in this case). Also it reaches about 10 cm (4 in) across.

Then there's the thin frill used for swimming.

Image: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) via Flickr
Underneath all that are the cauliflower-like oral arms plus some extra long tentacles trailing behind. These are all covered in stinging cells for capturing prey, and the fluffy oral arms have a large surface area to make sure nothing gets away.

Image: Derek Keats via Flickr
It ends up looking like a strange mish-mash of sundry body parts. Probably some of the finest body parts available in their Indo-Pacific and East Atlantic home, but a mish-mash nonetheless. I think it's a style they call "eclectic".

Image: tobze via Flickr
They're unique...
Image: Derek Keats via Flickr
Just like everyone else.


TexWisGirl said...

very cool! eclectic, odd, weird, but cool!

Joseph JG said...

All of the above!

Anonymous said...

OMG, they are so beaitiful! I just want to reach out and touch one! NOT! But they are gorgeous! Too bad real cauliflowers don't look as appetizing.

Joseph JG said...

They're great! They wouldn't look so good on your plate, though.

Anonymous said...

This has to be one of the best things on Earth! I really should learn scuba diving... seems that the most interesting things are hidden underwater.

Joseph JG said...

It's pretty darn funky! I haven't scuba dived either, I'm sure it's amazing!

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