Coral Attacks! Caught Eating Jellyfish for 1st Time (PHOTOS)


Photo via the BBC

Just for a moment, let's forget about the raging climate policy debates, unfortunate deforestation news, and other world woes--and turn to something everyone can appreciate. And that, of course, is weird nature stuff. Above, observe--for the first time in recorded history--coral chowing down on a jellyfish. According to the BBC, coral normally feed on microscopic like plankton, typically only 0.2mm to 0.4mm in size--certainly not entire jellyfish. But that's exactly what's happening here, as you can see. The coral is just ingesting the entire thing, cartoonishly slurping it down.

Two Israeli researchers stumbled upon the bizarre happening during a survey they were doing on coral reefs in the red sea. The BBC reports that "During the survey we were amazed to notice some mushroom corals actively feeding on the moon jellyfish," says Ada Alamaru, a member of the research team. "We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw it . . . "This is the first documentation of a coral feeding on a jellyfish almost equal to its size."

And of course, the strange behavior is thought to have implications of an evolving environment:

Ms Alamaru suggests the discovery reveals not only a food source for the large mouthed coral but also potential further benefits in a changing environment, where due to climate change and anthropogenic disturbances, jelly blooms are increasing in frequency and intensity.
And you thought you were going to get away without hearing about how man is messing up the earth. See what we're doing? We're forcing coral to eat jellyfish.

More on Coral
Dying Coral Reefs to be Frozen, Preserved for the Future
Caribbean Coral Reefs 'Flattened' Over the Past 40 Years

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Global Climate Change

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows