Glow-in-the-Dark Invertabrates Off the California Coast (Video)

siphonophore image
Image via KQED

Jellyfish are weird, cool, and scary all at once. But what might be even more weird, cool, and...well not all that scary? Siphonophores, jellies' glow-in-the-dark cousins, are being studied more as researchers look to uncover the mystery of how and why they use light and iridescence as part of their survival strategy. Dozens of species exist off the California coast and scientists at Monterey Bay Aquarium are hard at work figuring out what makes them tick, and even how they can be used for medicine for humans. Check out a fascinating short video about jellies and their strange cousins after the jump.
QUEST on KQED Public Media.

Siphonophores are actually among the longest animals in the world, some reaching over 100 feet long, with multiple stomachs and mouths, and the ability to glow in the dark. There's no end to the strangeness of sea creatures, but these critters are among the oddest.

The video shows some fascinating information about them. But one concept that stands out is the notion that warmer seas are not necessarily a good thing for jellies. It's been a popular idea that more acidic seas resemble the oceans of the past where jellies evolved and thrived, and indeed we've seen massive blooms of jellies that enjoy the conditions. However, as stated by one of the researchers in the video, an unhealthy ocean is unhealthy for all the animals living in it, including jellies.

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Tags: Animals | Oceans


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