The Jellyfish of the Pacific Northwest
Phylum cnidaria (Jellyfish) are invertebrates that are well known for their ability to sting, they have capsules in their tentacles that surround the mouth. We have around 75 different cnidaria living in the waters of the BC coastal region.
Many of these creatures are sessile, meaning that they attach themselves permanently at their base and do not move, like the sea anemones, although some can move about on a pedal disk, like a foot on a snail and can travel great distances. Jelly fish swim and drift about with the tides and over time can move great distances too.
Some of our jellyfish here in the BC waters can cause great pain along with bad infections that can resist medical treatment for a long time, caution should be used around them, especially the sea blubber jelly fish.
The Sea Blubber Jellyfish pictured above was about half a meter across the bell with some very long tentacles streaming out behind it.
They have remained unchanged for millions of years, they have been here for 300 million years before before the dinosaurs. The jellylike creatures travel on ocean currents and are abundant in both cold and warm ocean water, they can be seen along all shores and as well, they thrive in deep waters .
They come equipped with stinging cells in their tentacles that they use to stun their prey before they eat them. Inside their bell shaped body is an opening that is its mouth.
The stings can be painful to humans and sometimes very dangerous. But jellyfish don’t purposely attack humans. Most stings occur when people accidentally touch one, but if the sting is from a dangerous species, it can be deadly.
Jellyfish feed on fish, crustaceans and some feed on plants. They in turn are eaten by various animals like the sea turtles who love them.