Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bloodybelly Comb Jelly

As my husband said, this looks like an alien spaceship from Babylon 5. It is so creepy when it opens up. It looks like it has two glowing red eyes inside it.
The bloodybelly comb jellys sparkling display is from light diffracting from tiny transparent, hair-like cilia. These beat continuously as a form of propulsion. In the deep sea, the jelly is nearly invisible; animals that are red appear black and blend into the dark background.

This species has only recently come to the attention of scientists, thanks to images like this, supplied by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s remotely operated vehicles.

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