Winter break with the jellyfish

One of the animals we study in our lab is the jellyfish. We look at how the animal’s simple nervous system controls its tentacles during feeding. Jellyfish eat brine shrimp, which you may know as sea monkeys. Once a tiny brine shrimp hits the tentacle of a jellyfish, the tentacle contracts and brings the food towards the oral arms (mouth entrance) for consumption. We have two species in our lab, the common Moon Jelly (Aurelia aurita):

And a Sea Nettle from Japan (Sanderia malayensis):

Steve, a fellow grad student, takes care of the jellyfish in our lab which requires daily feedings and constant care. He does a great job but he never gets a break, so this winter break I took over his jellyfish care responsibilities. Even though it was Christmas, the jellyfish still had to eat. Here I present a step-by-step guide to feeding jellyfish.  Thanks to Steve for playing the role of Jellyfish Feeder in the photos. And if you have ever dreamed of keeping jellyfish as pets, I don’t want to dissuade you with this post but the guide will give you an idea of what you would be getting yourself into…

JellyfishFeeding.001

JellyfishFeeding.002JellyfishFeeding.003

And I didn’t even mention all the filters that need to be cleaned or what you have to do if there’s a blockage in the sea water flow. Luckily all this work is worth it because of the fascinating research our lab gets to conduct on these animals.

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