Moon jellyfish

Intense January surf has driven large numbers of moon jellyfish onto local beaches.

SEAVIEW — If you drift at the whims of the sea, sometimes things aren’t going to work out so well. Large numbers of jellyfish have been paying the price in recent weeks.

Driven onto the beach where surf action strips them of their tentacles, the translucent creatures die and decay into the sands, providing food for razor clams and other creatures of the littoral zone. They are harmless to humans, but dogs should be discouraged from eating them.

According to Wikipedia:

“Aurelia aurita (also called the common jellyfish, moon jellyfish, moon jelly or saucer jelly) is a widely studied species of the genus Aurelia. All species in the genus are closely related, and it is difficult to identify Aurelia medusae without genetic sampling; most of what follows applies equally to all species of the genus. …

“The jellyfish is translucent, usually about 10–16 in in diameter, and can be recognized by its four horseshoe-shaped gonads, easily seen through the top of the bell. It feeds by collecting medusae, plankton, and mollusks with its tentacles.”

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