"Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

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"Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

Post by Alpha Female » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:33 pm

I found this article interesting (and the name of the jellyfish species kind of funny x3) so I thought I should share it. =3
Off the Florida Keys, hundreds of stinging tentacles dangle from a "pink meanie"—a new species of jellyfish with a taste for other jellies.

When pink meanies were first observed in large numbers in the Gulf of Mexico in 2000, they were though to be Drymonema dalmatinum, a species known since the late 1800s and usually found in the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and off the Atlantic coast of South America.

Recently, though, scientists using genetic techniques and visual examinations have revealed that this pink meanie is an entirely new species—Drymonema larsoni, named after scientist Ron Larson, who did some of the first work on the species in the Caribbean.

Moreover, the pink meanie appears to be so different from other known scyphozoans, or "true jellyfish," that it forced the scientists to create a whole new animal family, a biological designation two levels above species. The new scyphozoan family—the first since 1921—is called Drymonematidae and includes all Drymonema species.

"They're just off by themselves," said Keith Bayha, a marine biologist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama.

"As we started to really examine Drymonema both genetically and morphologically, it quickly became clear that they're not like other jellyfish and are in their own family."

Bayha and Michael Dawson, an expert on the evolutionary history of marine creatures at the University of California, Merced, detail the new Drymonema jellyfish species and family in the current issue of the journal the Biological Bulletin.

A Taste for its own Kind

Captured off the Florida Keys, a Drymonema larsoni jellyfish—aka a pink meanie—swims in a lab tank.

According to the new analyses, this Gulf of Mexico Drymonema species is genetically distinct from its Mediterranean cousin, D. dalmatinum.

Regardless of where they live, all Drymonema species have an appetite for moon jellyfish, which the Drymonema feed on almost exclusively as adults.

"They just spread their tentacles out, and as soon as they come into contact with a moon jellyfish, they get more tentacles around them and pull them in," the Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Bayha explained.

Adult Drymonema do the majority of their digestion using specialized "oral arms" that dangle alongside their tentacles. The oral arms exude digestive juices, which break down the prey.

Gulf War
A relatively small Drymonema larsoni jellyfish attacks a much larger moon jellyfish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Drymonema can vary greatly in size. Some, like the one pictured here[see link], are only a few inches across, while others can grow to several feet in diameter.

"They just keep growing, but most jellyfish live only a year," Bayha explained. "They'll breed and then they'll kind of stop eating and senesce, shrivel up, and die."


Moon Shot
Swimming in a tank, a Drymonema larsoni jellyfish captured off Alabama ropes in a bulbous moon jellyfish.

While Drymonema jellyfish feed mainly on other jellyfish, the stinging cells in their tentacles are potent enough to be felt by humans.

"They're really bad stingers," Bayha said. "The more tentacles come into contact with you, the worse the sting is going to be. And these guys have hundreds and hundreds of tentacles."

The Big Pink
An adult pink meanie jellyfish measuring nearly three feet (one meter) wide searches the Gulf of Mexico for other jellyfish to eat.

Larger Drymonema can ensnare multiple moon jellyfish at once—one had been found with 34 moon jellyfish in its tentacles.

Since many jellyfish look very similar, past researchers assumed that there are very few jellyfish species. But UC Merced's Michael Dawson has revealed many cryptic jellyfish—jellies that look the same but are actually separate species.

While the discovery that a single global species might actually be multiple species may seem trivial, it can become important when studying jellyfish ecology, since different species might behave differently.

"It changes the way in which we can study these guys and how they interact with humans and the marine environment," Bayha said. "And they're being recognized more and more as a major pest around the world."
Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... w-species/
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Re: "Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

Post by SolitaryHowl » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:24 pm

Wow. Thanks for the article.

Hehe - pink meanie. Sounds like it could be a cartoon.
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Re: "Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

Post by Grin » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:10 am

Wow, yet another new jellyfish species, but its diet is pretty interesting. Its thickly packed tentacles are beautiful as well.

Its name sounds like one of the antagonist creatures from Pacman. ^^

Lately, it seems like there has been an advancement in genetic technology. For instance, a few members of certain species have been found to in fact not belong in that same species or genus at all. There are a few examples of this in the Wildlife section alone.

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Re: "Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

Post by April » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:04 pm

Yikes! They sound dangerous! But Pink Meanie lol it sounds like a little kid named it. XP
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Re: "Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

Post by Leuu » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:32 pm

Pink Meanie sounds epic! XD

Thanks for posting this!
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Re: "Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

Post by Masika » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:41 pm

Bwhaha, pink meanie, that is such an awesome name :'D

In regards to the images, it actually looks like quite a pretty species of Jellyfish. I particuarly like the first image shown. I think it's really interesting that it's only just been discovered that they're an entirely different species, yet they have been observed upon since the 1800s. Thanks for sharing this, Alpha Female! Very interesting to read c:
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Re: "Pink Meanie" New Species of JellyFish

Post by soloreclipse » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:16 pm

Epic Jelly! XD Pink meanie is such a cute name. XD
Why are you reading this? You just wasted 2 seconds of your life reading this!!!!

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