Published: January 25, 2019
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By: Eva Durance, University of Illinois at Chicago
Category: Marine Biology
Hashtags: #animals #animalscience #CuriousityCabinet #jellyfish #marinebio #marinebiology #oceanography #Research
The ocean is the most alien thing on Earth to us. Its exhaustive range of ecosystems varying in temperature, salinity, chemical makeup, pressure, light, and level of emptiness, all while being submerged in our favorite liquid - water - make for creatures vastly different than us. While we can see similarities between ourselves and say, dolphins, in what way do humans and jellyfish look like they evolved on the same planet? I focus on the phylum Cnidaria because it classifies the common image of jellyfish under the class Scyphozoa, but also includes even stranger classes- Anthozoa, Cubozoa, Hydrozoa, Polypodiozoa, Staurozoa, and Myxozoa. Some of these classes only include tiny cnidarians that are parasitic to fish eggs, while others include something that looks like a feather pen. Anemones, siphonophores, and globular membranous jellyfish all fit in this category.