Black Sea Nettle
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|BLACK SEA NETTLE|
The black sea nettle is considered a giant jelly; its distinctive purplish bell can reach over three feet (91 cm) in diameter; its lacy, pinkish oral-arms can reach nearly 20 feet (6 m) in length and its stinging tentacles 25 feet (7.6 m) or more. It probably lives in deeper, calmer waters but has appeared in large blooms in coastal areas off Southern California, most recently in 1999.
Diet: plankton and other jellies
Size: to 3 feet (1 m) and oral arms extending to 20 feet (6 m)
Range: Mexico, southern Baja California to Monterey Bay
Relatives: Portuguese man-of-war, other jellies, sea anemones, coral; Family: Pelagiidae
Giant black sea nettles appeared in droves along the San Diego shoreline in the summer of 1989. Then they mysteriously disappeared. The giant drifters reappeared again ten years later, in the summer of 1999. Increased numbers of sea nettles may be an indication that human activities have changed the condition of the ocean. Increased organic material means more nutrients. More nutrients, plus fertilizers from farms, enrich the plankton, providing more food for jellies and allowing them to increase in number.
Cool Facts The black sea nettle provides the Pacific butterfish with food and protection. The silvery butterfish feeds on the plankton gathered by the jelly, and when danger approaches, the butterfish actually hides inside the jelly’s bell.
The black sea nettle is a mysterious creature; during most years its whereabouts are unknown. Scientists just recently named this jelly in 1997, although pictures of the species were taken as early as 1926. Much about its behavior, distribution and life cycle remain a puzzle.
This picture was taken at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
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That's a pretty scary one. I would not want to swim with it even if it didn't hurt a bit. I like the bright blue water color alot. It makes the creature pop from the screen. The tentacles are very sharp, but it seems that the body just swam out of the focus spot.
The size that these jellyfish can become is awesome! Well taken with a very nice background making the subject stand out well.