Monterey Bay Jelly Fish
Monterey Bay jelly fish don’t have bones, brains, teeth, blood or fins—and they’re more than 95 percent water. Yet they thrive in the world’s ocean, and to its darkest depths. Monterey Bay jelly fish are strange and captivatingly beautiful, making them one of the Aquarium’s all-time favorite animals.
“Jellies” are any animals that have gelatinous body forms and live in the water column, including jellyfish. Jellyfish, or “true jellies,” are medusae belonging to the phylum Cnidaria. At the Aquarium we have both kinds of animals on exhibit.
Sting for Your Supper
Jellies use stinging cells—also known as nematocysts—to catch, sting and inactivate their prey. The stinging cells are blind but sensitive; when they brush against an object they burst and out pops a tiny, sharp barb that pierces the prey and injects it with venom. Digestion begins in the jelly’s oral arms, which guide the prey to its mouth found in the center under its bell.
Inside the bell there are open chambers, like stomachs, where the prey is further digested and then passed around the body through a series of interconnected canals.
Most jellies have mild toxins that don’t bother humans. But some can be as painful as bee stings, and a few, like the sea wasp, can be extremely dangerous. Courtesy of the > Monterey Bay Aquarium