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Moon Jellyfish

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The Moon jellyfish is also known as the Saucer jellyfish. It is unknown as to how many species belong to this particular family of jellyfish. One of the unusual characteristics of this particular jellyfish that it has both oral arms as well as tentacles, they are used during the feeding process. The easiest way to identify the Moon jellyfish is by four horseshoe fashion gonads that are located in its stomach and can be seen through its translucent bell.

The Moon jellyfish prefer warm temperate waters of about 70° and are abundant in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. They have also been found in the brackish waters of the inland seas, but these jellyfish, due to the decrease of saltwater, have a flatter bell than those found in the water has more salinity. The Moon jellyfish looks like a floating mushroom that has long threadlike tentacles that contain their sting cells. Their bell shaped body can be milky white, white purple, or transparent in color and can measure up to 18 inches. Because of their bell shape they are often referred to as Saucer jellies. One of the unusual features of the Moon jellyfish is that it only has one opening which functions as both mouth and anus.

Though capable of thrusting themselves upward the moon jellyfish is dependent on the tides and currents of the water where they live for most of the traveling purposes. The Moon jellyfish is known for traveling with the tides while remaining close to the surface of the water.

Moon jellyfish are carnivorous and feed upon plankton, crustaceans, cope-pods, mollusks, and zoo plankton. Like other jellyfish their tentacles contain venom which helps them secure their food by stinging their prey and trapping it in mucus. The food passes through the mouth and into the body of the jellyfish through eight canals going directly into the stomach through a ring canal, where digestive enzymes break the food down.

The Moon jellyfish is preyed upon by large fish, sea turtles, and various seabirds. The sting of the moon jellyfish is neither fatal nor is it dangerous to humans. When stung the skin will experience some stinging sensation.
The Moon jellyfish often become sexually mature during the spring and summer months of each year, and sexually reproduce both males and females. They are the most commonly found species of jellyfish in public aquariums and are often purchased by private individuals.

The Moon jellyfish is an invertebrate which belongs to the Phylum Cridaria, which includes Corals, Sea Whips, Sea Anemones, Sea Pens, Portuguese Man-of-War, Hydras, Sea Fan Corals, and the Moon jellyfish. The Moon jellyfish is unable to think they do not possess a brain, lungs, gills, heart, head, blood, or eyes or ears and receive their oxygen through a thin membrane. Ultimately the Moon jellyfish is nothing more than a floating mouth was the digestive system.

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