Thursday, 31 July 2014

31st July: Jellyfish washed up on the shore

A large number of jellyfish were washed up on Lindisfarne NNR recently after some high tides pushed them up onto the beaches.

Blue jellyfish (Cyanea lamarckii): the vibrant blue colour of this jellyfish is where it gets its name, but sometimes they can be pure white! It's tentacles can grow up to 1 metre in length but its body is normally around 15 cm in diameter. This is a widespread visitor to Britain's coasts.

Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita): these distinctive jellyfish are commonly found in estuaries and harbours as well as on the shore. The moon jellyfish is easily identified by its 4 round gonads seen through the translucent body.

Lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata): a large jellyfish, usually red or brown in colour. You may be surprised to learn that this is one of the largest animals in the world - it's body can reach over 2 metres in diameter with tentacles up to 150 ft long - much longer than a blue whale!

If you find jellyfish on the shore, be careful not to touch them as they may still sting even when dead.

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