Jellyfish are a nasty hazard of beachgoing. Scientists have recently discovered a new variety called “pink meanies.”
Just what is a jellyfish anyway?
According tp Brittanica they are marine inverterbrates that float in all the world’s oceans. They can be very small or up to about two feet across. Some just extract nutrients from sea water, others catch and kill small creatures with stinging tentacles. They are both boneless and brainless.
What about pink meanies?
Pink meanies (Drymonema larsoni) are something out of the ordinary. According to Southern Living they are much larger than other jellyfish and have tentacles up to 70 feet long. They are currently washing up on beaches in Florida and Alabama. Apparently this is because they like to eat other jellyfish, especially moon jellyfish,which are “blooming” right now. Meanies were first sighted in the United States around the year 2000 but were not identified as a separate new species until 2011.
Southern Living quoted the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC):
“Studies have found that they will voraciously feed on large aggregations of moon jellyfish that periodically bloom in the Gulf,” FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute explained on Facebook. “In fact, the pink meanie may be better adapted to feeding on moon jellyfish than all previously studied moon jellyfish predators.”
Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) also swim all the world’s seas.
So watch your step on beaches in Florida.
Florida, meanwhile faces a series of wildlife challenges. These include manatee deaths and the all-too-prevalent Burmese pythons. Manatees are dying because pollution is clouding the water and denying them food. Pythons, meanwhile, are eating anything they can catch.