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Velella velella

Velella velella
Photo Information
Copyright: Lori Cannon (LCannon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 374 W: 137 N: 804] (3107)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-31
Categories: Ocean
Camera: Kodak Easyshare LS753
Exposure: f/3.0, 1/45 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-02-04 14:10
Viewed: 4806
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I wanted to post this photo a while back, but didn't know what it was other than a Jellyfish. I found some information on it on the Oregon State University Web site:

Usually in spring, but occasionally in winter, great windrows of blue- to purple-bodied jellyfish line our beaches. The scientific name of the jellyfish is Velella velella.

A good common name is "by-the-wind sailors," or you might prefer the shorter "purple sailor." Some Northwest beachcombers call them "Portuguese man-of-war," but this is incorrect; the man-of-war lives only in warm waters.

Velella is an offshore resident. Winds blowing gently against its triangular, clear sail move the jellyfish. The sail is set diagonally to the long axis of the animal. On our side of the north Pacific Ocean, their sails are set in a northwest to southeast direction. On the other side of the north Pacific, the sails are set in a northeast to southwest direction. In the southern hemisphere, sails are reversed. As long as the winds blow gently, Velella tacks at about 45° away from a following wind. This keeps the animal offshore.

When winds are strong, Velella loses its tacking ability and begins spinning and more directly follows the wind. Strong westerlies, then, are what drive these animals onto our beaches.

All jellyfish have stinging cells in their tentacles. Most people are not bothered by touching one from our beaches with their hands. You should not rub your eyes or put a finger in your mouth after handling a jellyfish, however, because this could cause you pain--and maybe even more serious problems. You should also avoid walking barefoot through freshly beached jellyfish. Velella is not the only jellyfish you might find on your beach walks. The moon jelly, Aurelia, usually appears as a flat, clear blob. If enough of the moon jelly remains, you might see four horseshoe-shaped gonads, purple in males and yellow in females. West coast sea nettle (Chrysaora fuscenscens) is tan with reddish-orange hues and has very long tentacles. Its sting can be mildly harmful to humans, about as potent as a bee sting.

Dave, XOTAELE, Robbrown, trinko, shirgold, blakitan has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Nephrotome2: JM...I've posted 2 more viewsLCannon 1 02-05 18:00
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2007-02-04 14:23]

How interesting and so amazing nature is Lori! Your note is quite excellent as is this beached sample of this "by-the-wind-sailor". Super!

Preciosos los detalles de este especimen.
Los colores son preciosos y más en contraste con el de la arena.
Saludos Lori.
Juan Luis.

  • Great 
  • trinko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 78 N: 322] (4321)
  • [2007-02-04 15:21]

nice picture. good focus, interesting subject. i've got a picture of one floating in the water here

Hi Lori,
Very interesing post and excellent post - true TN spirit !
excellent detail.
TFS - Shir

  • Great 
  • Isu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 313 W: 0 N: 21] (1663)
  • [2007-02-04 18:04]

Hola Lori, buen disparo de esta anemona, bonito y agradable compo. saludos

Hi Lori,
Interesting capture.
Sharp and nice details.
Great shot.

Ben Lakitan

Belle photo cette méduse légèrement bleueté est bien belle,La photo montre bien les détails,bien nets. Amitiés Thomas

Very interesting and informative. Would be good to post a side view in a workshop so that we see beter what the sail looks like.

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