Scientists identify new species of jellyfish with 39 tentacles; watch


Image: MBARI/Reproduction

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in the US have identified a new species of jellyfish in the Californian seas. The animal, which stands out for its scarlet color, was named after Reynoldsi swamp —a tribute to the research institute’s first volunteer, Jeff Reynolds.

The new species was described in the journal animals. It measures about 13 centimeters in diameter and has between 26 and 39 tentacles. Despite its considerably small size, the species is the largest ever found for the genus Atolla. Check out:

It’s not just the proportions that make the A. reynoldsi only. Atolla jellyfish have an elongated tentacle, which serves to capture prey in the deep ocean. These animals inhabit the so-called abyssal zone, between 1,000 and 4,000 meters below sea level.

But the new species lacked that extra detail. In addition, its tentacles are coiled like springs, unlike what has been seen for the other ten known Atolla specimens.

The sighting of A. reynoldsi it’s not recent. In fact, researchers first noticed its existence around 2014 while watching videos taken by remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs). At the same time, two other different specimens of Atolla were identified, but records are lacking to confirm them as unpublished species.

The description of the new species of jellyfish is not limited to the recordings. In fact, scientists studied a dozen animals to confirm that they were physically and genetically different from their cousins.

About Raju Singh

Raju has an exquisite taste. For him, video games are more than entertainment and he likes to discuss forms and art.

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