Jellyfishes may be considered as one of the oldest creatures that have survived on our planet. For at least 500 million years, they have swam across the waters and have reproduced and have thrived. This feat probably is thanks to their strange physical features.
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These creatures have no special organs for respiration or excretion. They have no head, no brain, no skeleton and no true circulatory system. This allows them to be highly adaptable and to survive in even the harshest conditions.
Sometimes, jellyfishes are unwanted visitors, especially to humans. They can clog cooling intakes of power plants, destroy fishing nets, and spoil catches. For other creatures on the planet, however, they could prove to be a really great help.
They are indicators of oceanic circulation patterns, play a rather large role in the mixing of oceanic nutrients and also help control pelagic fish populations (those that inhabit the water column, not near the bottom or the shore). It was recently discovered that jellyfish even provide microhabitats where other marine species may live and survive.
They are creatures truly worth to be studied, and that’s just what this team of researchers from South Africa is currently doing.
More about this over at The Conversation.
(Image Credit: Pixabay)