(WSYR-TV) — The Rosamond Gifford Zoo unveiled its newest exhibit on Friday … moon jellyfish!
50 moon jellyfish join the Syracuse Zoo family thanks to funding by the Friends of Rosamond Gifford Zoo.
The Friends of the Zoo raised $20,000 to get two 100-gallon tanks, each has 25 jellyfish.
“Not only are jellyfish an iconic and popular species, but they also are indicators of the health of our oceans, so they give us added opportunities to talk about things like climate change and plastics pollution,” said zoo director Ted Fox.
The new exhibit is located in the USS Antiquities hall.
- Species: Aurelia aurita
- Habitat: Found in oceans around the world; they prefer a warm environment.
- Diet: Zooplankton that they capture with their tentacles. Size: They grow to 10-16 inches in diameter
- Lifespan: Up to one year
- Reproduction: Male and female jellyfish release egg and sperm into the water, where they form polyps that produce buds which become baby jellies
- Jellyfish have no brain, heart or blood – but they do have a sort of nervous system.
- Jellyfish are famous for the stinging cells on their tentacles, which they use to stun prey — but moon jellies are the least dangerous jellyfish to humans.
- They use a kind of propulsion to move through the water by pulsing muscles in their bodies.
- They are the oldest multi-organ animal, predating dinosaurs.
- Moon jellies have been studied widely and even went into space aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1991.
- Recent research indicates that a protein in jellyfish may help heal wounds in human skin.
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