Lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) - Is Lion's Mane jellyfish bigger than Blue Whale?

Lion's mane jellyfish

    The lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata), also known as the gigantic jellyfish, arctic red jellyfish, or hair jelly, is one of the largest Jellyfish species. It exclusively lives in the chilly, boreal waters of the Arctic, Northern Atlantic, and Northern Pacific seas. The North Sea, Irish Sea, English Channel, and waters surrounding western Scandinavia south to Kattegat and resund are also affected. It may also move toward the southwest corner of the Baltic Sea (where it cannot breed due to the low salinity). Jellyfish that seem identical to one another and maybe the same species may be seen in the seas of Australia and New Zealand. The largest specimen ever discovered was discovered off the coast of Massachusetts in 1865, with tentacles measuring roughly 36.6 m (120 ft) long and a bell of 210 cm (7 feet) in diameter. Lion's mane jellyfish have been found in the larger bays of the US east coast, below 42°N latitude.

Characteristics & Appearance

Lion's mane jellyfish
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    The size of a lion's mane jellyfish varies according to its location. Lower latitude species are smaller in size than those in the north.
Because lion's mane jellyfish are among the biggest in the world, it stands to reason that these organisms, which are 95% water, may weigh up to 200 pounds.

The tentacles of a lion's mane jellyfish may range in length from 30 to 120 feet. They become smaller as the environment warms. The size of the bell may range from less than an inch to almost 10 feet.

The body of a lion's mane jellyfish is bell-shaped, with flowing tentacles hanging from the bottom. Eight clusters, grouped in four rows, surround the jellyfish's mouth, which is located at the bottom of the bell.
Each cluster, or lobe, may include up to 150 tentacles. That implies a single lion's mane jellyfish may have up to 1,200 separate tentacles that can grow to be 100 feet long.

A rhopalium, or balancing organ, is also found in each lobe. There are also broad oral arms that protrude from the mouth.
Each tentacle - or appendage - now contains nematocysts that carry strong neurotoxins that may damage humans. The oral arms are covered by the same nematocysts.

The top of the bell is often crimson or dark yellow, with a thick core that thins toward the margin. Tentacles are usually yellow or red in color, with purple oral arms. The top section of the bell is protected by similar deadly nematocysts.

Smaller jellyfish with bells less than 5′′ in diameter are generally yellow or pink. Those between 5′′ and 18′′ are more crimson or yellowish-brown in color. When they reach a height of 18 inches, they become a dark brownish-red color.

Lion's mane jellyfish
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Lifespan & Reproduction

Lion's mane jellyfish
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   Lion's mane jellyfish go through four phases of development. They begin as larvae. Then they convert into a polyp, then into an ephyra, and lastly into a medusa. The life span of this jellyfish species is just one year.

When an adult female reaches the medusa stage, she is sexually mature. This jellyfish breeds in March and then again in early May by external fertilization.

The female lion mane will transfer the fertilized eggs in her tentacles until the eggs hatch into larvae.

When the larvae are mature enough, the mother abandons them on a hard surface to develop into polyps. Lion mane jellyfish (and many other species) reproduce asexually during the polyps stage.

During this phase, each polyp develops stacks of ephyrae. Then each of these ephyrae separates from the group and progresses to the last life stage, medusa. They are fully mature and ready to reproduce sexually at this stage. Typically, the procedure takes 30 to 40 days.

Where Does the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish live?

Lion's mane jellyfish
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 This jellyfish favors cooler waters in areas with severe, icy winters and cool summers. They thrive in waters cooler than 68°F since they do not thrive in warm water.

Throughout their adult life, they like to float near the surface in open waters, although they spend most of their time in shallow bays. They seldom travel deeper than 66 feet.

The coldest portions of the Arctic, as well as the northern Pacific and Atlantic seas, have the highest numbers of lion's mane jellyfish. They sometimes move towards the Baltic Sea's southwest.

During the winter, outlying populations may be seen in the Chesapeake Bay. However, they do not grow to the size of those that reside in the center of the ocean. These massive jellyfish have been seen in major bays along the east coast below 42°N.

This species may also be found in the North and Irish Seas, the English Channel, and portions of Scandinavia as far south as Kattegat and resund.
Lion's mane jellyfish are constantly in motion, generally alone rather than in swarms. When there is fast-flowing water, they may go long distances. These jellyfish may swim in big bunches during storms or tides.

What Does the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish eat?

Lion's mane jellyfish
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 This species glows in the dark because it is bioluminescent. The illumination may draw prey in close enough for the jellyfish to reach out and grasp them with their additional sticky tentacles and lethal stingers.

When their tentacles wrap around their victim, their stingers shock them.
Out in the open sea, though, certain food species take refuge inside a jellyfish's bell. Food and shelter are provided by medusafish, shrimp, juvenile prowfish, butterfish, and harvestfish.

Threats & Predators

When these jellyfish reach maturity, other animals find it much more difficult to consume them.

Their massive bulk and venomous stingers protect them from predators and transform them into prey. Anemones, which also feed on juveniles, are among the only creatures that may consume an adult.

Status of Conservation

      The diet of a lion's mane jellyfish is restricted to tiny fish, other smaller jellyfish, ctenophores, zooplankton, crustaceans, and moon jellies.

Smaller, younger lion's mane jellyfish are more likely to be devoured by bigger animals.

Lion's mane jellyfish
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   The lion's mane jellyfish has a common conservation status, which implies it is a common species found in a variety of locales. They are not now threatened with extinction.

Interesting Facts About the Lion's Mane Jellyfish

◈ The world's biggest lion's mane jellyfish featured a 7-foot-diameter bell and 120-foot-long tentacles. That's longer than a blue whale, which experts claim is the world's longest species.

◈ This specimen was discovered in 1865 by an engineer named Alexander Agassiz. He discovered this world-record-breaking jellyfish somewhere off the coast of Massachusetts.

◈ The mane of a lion The jellyfish acquired its name from the eight lobes of tentacles that flow around the bell, which resemble a lion's mane.

◈ A tentacle from this jellyfish may hurt even if it is not linked to the jellyfish. Even one stinger may make a person ill. To remove the suction cup, you may require medical treatment or the aid of a specialist.

◈ Vomiting, rash, headache, anxiety, and chest discomfort are all possible symptoms of a Lion's mane jellyfish sting.

◈ The anatomy of the jellyfish comprises a single entrance for consumption and waste disposal.

◈ The lion's mane jellyfish, like other jellyfish, lacks eyes, a brain, and blood.

  • Lion's mane jellyfish
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