Natures wonders: Jellyfish lures (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 03, 2015, 15:38 (1655 days ago) @ David Turell

It is tiny but extends long filaments that look like pearls to lure fish, but the jelly fish doesn't have a brain!

"'This species is small, less than two centimeters (three-quarters of an inch) across the bell, they're 96% water, they lack a defined brain or central nervous system, and yet they're using their tentacles and nematocyst clusters like experienced fishers use their lines and lures," lead author Robert Courtney said.

"'They're not opportunistically grazing - they're deliberately fishing. They're targeting and catching fish that are at times as big as they are, and are far more complex animals. This is a really neat animal that is displaying a surprisingly complex prey capture strategy.

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"'The nematocyst clusters look like a series of bright pearls, which the jellyfish twitches to attract the attention of its prey, like a series of fishing lures," Mr Courtney said. "It's a very deliberate and selective form of prey capture."

"Once a fish makes contact with the nematocyst clusters it is quickly paralyzed by Carukia barnesi's powerful venom.

"'It's a highly successful fishing strategy, and the only account of a box jellyfish using aggressive mimicry to capture prey," Mr Courtney said."

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