What Do Jellyfish Eat

If you have ever been to the beach, the chances are that you have seen or dealt with a jellyfish. These creatures live in all the oceans of the world and are some of the more bizarre creations around. Looking like a blob of jelly with long tentacles, these creatures have no brains but can have up to eight eyes! For the most part, they drift along in the currents of the ocean and wait for food to come to them, but there are others that actually hunt. Imagine hunting and doing these advanced things without a brain!

How does a jellyfish feed?

Chironex Fleckeri
Chironex Fleckeri

There are different ways that jellyfish feed, of course. The first type, and the one that is most common, is to see a jellyfish float around and wait for food to strike the tentacles.

What is this food?

Well, it depends on the size of the jellyfish, but usually it is plankton, small fish, or even eggs and larvae of other creatures. These items get tangled up in the tentacles and then these long tentacles inject a type of compound that shocks or kills the food. It is then drawn up to the mouth of these odd creatures and digested. Some of these jellyfish are even known to eat other jellyfish!

The box jellyfish is the world’s deadliest jellyfish and for Chironex Fleckeri, it can kill a man in under three minutes, which is another world record. The lion’s mane jellyfish is the world’s largest jellyfish and can reach a length of 120 feet (37 meters). Just a note, the picture of the lion’s mane above may not be accurate.

Those that wait for food and those that hunt them

Perhaps the biggest differences in eating habits are those between those that wait for their prey to come to them and the ones that hunt. Fast and more agile, the hunters also often have a stronger poison for their food. They will hunt and chase down what they want to eat and then grab it with their tentacles, injecting various types of poisonous chemicals into the prey before eating it. These tentacles are so powerful that even if the jellyfish is dead it can still sting you.

Larger jellyfish

The larger jellyfish are able to eat larger things. One of the common things that they eat are crustaceans. These jellyfish will grab shrimp, for instance, and eat them. Most jellyfish don’t do this, however. With over 200 different types there are certainly a lot of variations within them, and it is an interesting subject to stay current with.

Jellyfish are found everywhere in the ocean

There are some fun food facts about jellyfish that many people do not know. One example of this is that jellyfish only have one mouth and they both eat with it and expel waste from it. This is highly unusual and different from the various things we may have learned about on land and sea. Another example is that they live in all different depths in the ocean and certain species like to hunt other specific species at certain depths. This widens the food source and makes the types of foods eaten by jellyfish one of the more diverse menus in the world.

More on jellyfish

  1. Facts about jellyfish

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