THE JELLYFISH AT NAUSICAÁ
There are jellyfish everywhere at Nausicaá, or nearly.
In fact as soon as you enter the Global Ocean space of the “Mankind and Shores” exhibition or the Living Ocean space of the “Journey on the High Seas” exhibition you’ll discover jellyfishes, moon jellyfish and cannonball jellyfish in one and golden jellyfish in the other. As for the compass jellyfish, you can see them in the “Eye of the Climate” exhibition.
Why do we have jellyfish at Nausicaá?
Because jellyfish represent plankton, the first link in the food chain that is essential for the development of marine life.
Phytoplankton give off oxygen and fix CO2 by means of the photosynthesis process. Zooplankton feed off phytoplankton and in turn serve as food for larger species.
And, anyway, you’ve got to admit their ballet is fascinating.
The proliferation of jellyfish in certain parts of the oceans can be explained by climate change: the rise in the temperature of the water and the growing scarcity of some of their predators may be the cause of growing numbers of jellyfish.
THE DANCE OF THE JELLYFISH
Jellyfish, like their cousins corals and sea anemones, can sting. They belong to the cnidaria group (from the Greek knidèknidè, which means stinging nettle).
Watch out they sting if you touch them, so it’s better to just admire them close-up as you go around Nausicaá.
Moon jellyfish are quite common and can be found in all the oceans around the world. At the centre of their bell, there is a shape like a four-leaf clover: in males it’s a violet colour and in females it’s whitish.
Pacific compass jellyfish
The Japanese sea nettle, also called the Pacific compass jellyfish, is a pelagic, open-sea species that lives at depths as great as 200 m.
The brownjellyfish differs from the other jellyfish with its golden hue and its food consisting of zooplankton, fish and shrimp.
NAUSICAÁ, JELLYFISH BREEDER
The first baby moon jellyfish were born at Nausicaá in 1995 and since then Nausicaá has developed its expertise in the reproduction and raising of jellyfish.
More than ten different species of jellyfish are born and grow in Nausicaá’s reserves.
Jellyfish keeper, a profession in its own right! Patience and gentleness are the two essential qualities for raising the jellyfish that will later be placed in the exhibition spaces.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The jellyfish’s sting comes from the cnidocyte, an organ that has a cilium which, when it comes into contact with the skin of someone swimming in the sea, triggers a minuscule harpoon that injects a venom.
- Jellyfish develop a mucus on their tentacles which protect them against their stinging cilium. It’s quite like the principle used by clownfish to allow them to live in sea-anemones.
- The surgical profession and the cosmetics industry are taking an interest in the jellyfish’s collagen. The Turritopsis nutricula returns to its juvenile stage when the conditions in its habitat are unfavourable, before becoming an adult again at a later time, as if it were born again several times.