Jellyfish Research Paper

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This paper will look at the Medusozoa commonly known as the jellyfish. The jellyfish comes from the Cnidaria phyla. The jelly fish dates back over 500 million years and can be found in various different oceanic environments. And there are a few varieties that inhabit fresh water as well. Despite its name the jelly fish is not even a fish because it has no vertebrae. The medusozoa are broken up into four classes scyphomedusae ("true" jellyfish), stauromedusae (stalked jellyfish), cubomedusae (box jellyfish) and hydrozoa. The jellyfish body can take on various forms from the more commonly known bell or umbrella shape or they can be flat and disc like based on the species. This paper will focus on the scyphomedusae or “true jellyfish”. We will look at the like cycle, habitat, resources it needs, and ethical issues concerning the animal.

First let’s look at mating and the life cycle of the jellyfish. There are separate sexes, male and female, that are not easily distinguished by sigh. Their reproductive organs can be found in the stomach lining. Reproduction begins when the male releases sperm through its mouth into the surrounding water. These sperm swim to the female where they enter her central oral cavity to reach the eggs. Once fertilized, the zygotes emerge onto the oral arms to develop for a time, becoming larvae which settle on the bottom of the ocean attaching itself to the surface. The resulting polyp begins to bud asexually, releasing free-swimming medusae which go on to develop into adults. Adult jellyfish range in size from twelve millimeters to more than two meters in diameter. The largest is the Cyanea arctica that can have tenticles over 40 meters long. Jellyfish lifespans typically ranges from a few h...

... middle of paper ... A small company in Israel believes it can help. Through research they have found that jellyfish were made up of a material that could "absorb high volume of liquids and hold them without disintegrating or dissolving. They want to apply this research to the production of diapers, paper towels, and even tampons. Other small environmental groups are even urging people to start looking at jellyfish as a viable food source.

In closing we have looked at the history, habitat, lifecycle and ethical issues of the jellyfish. And though the jellyfish has been around for centuries now more than ever its presence is being notice. Despite its simple anatomy and short life span the jellyfish has begun to take over the waters around the world. It is no more the small menace that may sting the occasional beach goer but an ever growing threat to the marine ecosystem.

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