Download e-book Stung!: On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean

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She takes readers back to the Proterozoic era, when jellyfish were the top predator in the marine ecosystem and she explores the role jellies have as middlemen of destruction, moving swiftly into vulnerable ecosystems. This is the most comprehensive book for the identification of South Australian marine invertebrates intertidal to 30m depth ever published.

Covers all groups of macro marine invertebrates, including sponges, sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, bryozoans, worms, molluscs snails, nudibranchs, bivalves, cephalopods , crustaceans barnacles, amphipods, isopods, shrimps, crabs , echinoderms seastars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers , and ascidians sea squirts. With distribution maps, habitat information, and brief descriptions for all species. Written and illustrated by Karen Gowlett-Holmes, a leading Australian marine biologist and international award-winning underwater photographer.

Designed as a field guide — compact A5 size, high quality printing, strong durable binding, with coated pages to resist repeated use, even with wet fingers! Ideal for students, scientists, snorkellers, divers, underwater photographers, shore fossickers, in fact anyone with an interest in southern Australian marine life.

The first reference of its kind, this book represents good biology, well-founded systematics, accessible biogeography, geological history of corals that can be traced back over five hundred million years, and one of the finest collections of pictures of corals to be found anywhere. Hailed as the single most important reference on reef corals, Corals of Australia and the IndoPacific is useful in describing corals in all areas of Oceania and Southeast Asia.

It provides a means of identifying almost 1, species of coral, a reliable nomenclature, up-to-date information on distribution and abundance, and authoritative notes on structure and biology. Veron has effectively synthesized many years of his own taxonomic studies and those of several co-workers to produce a classic publication. His extensive experience with the reefs of many countries, his superb scholarship, and his emphasis on living corals make his authoritative work of value to scientists and conservationists and an indispensable reference for educators, students of marine biology, divers, and everyone with an interest in the coral communities that exist throughout the world like miniature forests beneath the water.

Featuring more than 1, photographs and several captivating stories, this book provides a breathtaking panorama of the coral world and identifies gorgonians, soft corals, stony corals, sea anemones and more. In the end, they proved too formidable, and the ship was forced out of port. Even nations can be affected by the power of the jellies.


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On the night of December 10, , 40 million Filipinos suffered a sudden power blackout. President Joseph Estrada was unpopular, and many assumed that a coup was underway.

It was twenty-four hours before the real enemy was recognized: jellyfish. Fifty truckloads of the creatures had been sucked into the cooling system of a major coal-fired power plant, forcing an abrupt shutdown. Nor has India been immune. At a nuclear power plant near Madras, workers removed and individually counted over four million jellyfish that had become trapped on screens placed over the entrances to cooling pipes between February and April Imagine a piece of thin, flexible plastic wrapper in a pool, where it can drift almost forever without sinking, until it gets sucked against the outflow mesh.

And everyone from concerned admirals to the owners of power plants that lose millions of dollars with each shutdown have tried very hard to deter them. Salmon swimming in pens can create a vortex that sucks jellyfish in. Tens of thousands of salmon can be stung to death in minutes, and repeated attacks can kill hundreds of thousands of the valuable fish.

But those losses are small compared with the financial devastation jellyfish have inflicted elsewhere. The creatures arrived from the east coast of the US in seawater ballast seawater a ship takes into its hold once it has discharged its cargo to retain its stability , and by the s they were taking over. Prior to their arrival, Bulgaria, Romania, and Georgia had robust fisheries, with anchovies and sturgeon being important resources. As the jellyfish increased, the anchovies and other valuable fish vanished, and along with them went the sturgeon, the long-beloved source of blini toppings.

By the total weight of Mnemiopsis in the Black Sea had grown so prodigiously that it was estimated to be ten times greater than the weight of all fish caught throughout the entire world in a year.

Smithsonian Ocean

The Black Sea had become effectively jellified. Nobody knows precisely how or why the jellyfish replaced the valuable fish species, but four hypotheses have been put forward. The first is that stocks of anchovy, which compete with the jellyfish, collapsed because the jellyfish ate their eggs and young. A second is that jellyfish ate the same food as the anchovies, and starved them.

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A third is that overfishing left more food for the jellyfish, and the fourth is that climate change caused a decline in plankton or promoted a jellyfish bloom. There may be a little truth in all four of these ideas. But one thing is clear. In the end, Mnemiopsis was controlled, and then only partially, by the accidental introduction of another comb jelly.

Beroe has tooth-like structures that allow it to eat Mnemiopsis. Only a jellyfish, it seems, can halt a jellyfish invasion. Jellyfish continue to pop up in unusual places, and more often than not trouble is not far behind. Around , the Australian spotted jellyfish was noticed in the Gulf of Mexico. It had presumably arrived in ballast water.

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These jellyfish can weigh up to fifteen pounds, and by August a plague of them covered around sixty square miles. Their consumption of fish eggs, fish larvae, and other plankton was far greater than could be sustained. They ate ten times more fish eggs than was typical for the area. And they had a sneaky way of catching plankton. They jellified the surrounding waters with a kind of foam that slowed the plankton down, making them easier to catch.

Then the Gulf experienced Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill of Fish and prawn numbers plummeted, but the Australian spotted jellyfish kept going from strength to strength. By it had shown up in the western Mediterranean, and more than ten people a day were being stung, forcing the closure of tourist beaches at the height of the season. Even sober scientists are now talking of the jellification of the oceans. And the term is more than a mere turn of phrase. The curtain is formed of jelly extruded by the creatures, and it includes stinging cells.

The region once supported a fabulously rich fishery yielding a million tons annually of fish, mainly anchovies. In the total fish biomass was estimated at just 3. So great is their density that jellyfish are now blocking vacuum pumps used by local diamond miners to suck up sediments from the sea floor. Jellyfish are very diverse. They range in size from a millimeter long to giants with bells over a meter across that can weigh almost half a ton. These last two types are not, strictly speaking, organisms at all. And they can be enormous—up to feet long.

Stung by a Box Jellyfish

Not quite a colony…. For over years, many of the greatest minds in evolutionary biology have debated [their] proper status. To understand why jellyfish are taking over, we need to understand where they live and how they breed, feed, and die. Jellyfish are almost ubiquitous in the oceans.

As survivors of an earlier, less hospitable world, they can flourish where few other species can venture. Their low metabolic rate, and thus low oxygen requirement, allows them to thrive in waters that would suffocate other marine creatures. External fertilization.

Smithsonian Ocean

Self fertilization. Courtship and copulation. Instead they hatch into polyps, which are small creatures resembling sea anemones. The polyps attach to hard surfaces on the sea floor, and are particularly fond of man-made structures, on which they can form a continuous jelly coating. As they grow, the polyps develop into a stack of small jellyfish growing atop each other that look rather like a stack of coins.

In a few days or weeks, a jellyfish bloom is observed. One of the fastest breeders of all is Mnemiopsis. It begins laying eggs when just thirteen days old, and is soon laying 10, per day. If quartered, the bits will regenerate and resume normal life as whole adults in two to three days. Jellyfish are voracious feeders. Mnemiopsis is able to eat over ten times its own body weight in food, and to double in size, each day. They can do this because they are, metabolically speaking, tremendously efficient, being able to put more of the energy they ingest toward growth than the more complex creatures they compete with.

And they can be wasteful. Mnemiopsis acts like a fox in a henhouse.

oruviletoxyd.ga: Jellyfish - Paperback / Ecology / Biological Sciences: Books

After they gorge themselves, they continue to collect and kill prey. As far as the ecosystem goes, the result is the same whether the jellyfish digest the food or not: they go on killing until there is nothing left. That can happen quickly. One study showed that Mnemiopsis removed over 30 percent of the copepod small marine crustaceans population available to it each day. They simply absorb dissolved organic matter through their epidermis.

Others have algae living in their cells that provide food through photosynthesis. The question of jellyfish death is vexing. And when food becomes available again, jellyfish simply recommence growing. Some individual jellyfish live for a decade. But the polyp stage survives pretty much indefinitely by cloning. One polyp colony started in and studied ever since is still alive and well in a laboratory in Virginia. One kind of jellyfish, which might be termed the zombie jelly, is quite literally immortal. But then something strange happens.


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  • A number of cells escape the rotting body. These cells somehow find each other, and reaggregate to form a polyp.