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|Jellies: The Ocean in Motion|
Immerse yourself in a world of jellies. From the outside, this exhibit resembles a 20-foot-tall sea nettle floating on water. Under its dome, special lighting showcases the fascinating features of six jelly species and gives the effect of being underwater.
Trickling water from a two-sided water wall inside the exhibit adds to the experience. The wall, sponsored by Aquarion Water Company, features streams of water running over hand-blown glass fish and jellies created by renowned local artist Jeffery P’an of Prescient Studios in Stonington.
Discover these diverse jelly species:
Known commonly as the sea walnut, these jellies are oval in shape and have tiny rows of comb-like plates running down their bodies. As they swim, these plates diffract (or bend) light to produce a shimmering, rainbow effect. Did you know? Comb jellies lack stinging cells.
These jellies have a dome-like appearance mixed with elaborate spots and streaks. They can grow up to 15 inches and live near the surface, traveling with the tides. Moon jellies become the color of what they eat; those that eat mostly crustaceans turn pink, while those that eat brine shrimp turn orange.
Bottoms up! This is no ordinary jelly. Instead of floating or swimming, this jelly sticks to the ocean floor like a suction cup, with its tentacles pointing upward. They can grow up to 12 inches and utilize photosynthesis for food.
Spotted (or Lagoon) Jelly
Spotted jellies have many small mouth openings on their arms that they use to catch plankton. Like blue jellies, they also have play host to algae, which provide food in return for a place to live.
Conservation tip: Many creatures depend on the jelly population for food and survival. Plastic bags and particles that are discarded in the ocean resemble jellies and drift in the same currents. As a result, thousands of sea turtles and birds die each year from mistakenly ingesting these plastic items. You can help by recycling these plastics, picking up your trash before you leave the beach or by avoiding plastic bags altogether.
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