Q:

How are jellyfish scientifically classified?

A:

Quick Answer

Jellyfish are animals of the phylum Cnidaria, class Scyphozoa, order Semaeostomeae and family Cyaneidae. The phylum Cnidaria is an incredibly ancient group of invertebrate animals, stretching back hundreds of millions of years. Jellyfish are among the oldest types of multicellular animals. True jellyfish have a number of distinguishing characteristics by which they are classified.

Know More
How are jellyfish scientifically classified?
Credit: Brad Pedersen Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Jellyfish are universally planktonic in their adult stage, meaning that they have only minimal ability to propel themselves through water, and are carried along freely by ocean currents. Jellyfish have minimal sensory capabilities and no nervous systems, with each part responding only to its immediate environment without any coordination with the rest of the organism. The body of a jellyfish is composed of a gel-like substance known as mesoglia, which is about 90 percent water, surrounded by a skin only a single cell in thickness.

Jellyfish have distinctive weapons, known as nematocysts, for hunting prey. These are venom-bearing barbs found in great numbers in their tentacles. These weapons are shared only by jellyfish and related groups, such as sea anemones. Jellyfish use one of the major cnidarian body plans, a free-floating bell with trailing tentacles, known as a medusa, while anemones use the other body plan, a sessile stalk with upward-pointed tentacles, known as a polyp.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Are jellyfish carnivores, herbivores or omnivores?

    A:

    Jellyfish are carnivores and excellent predators. They sting with tentacles to subdue small aquatic fish, and eat the eggs and invertebrates that stick to their tentacles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are characteristics of jellyfish?

    A:

    Jellyfish are free-swimming marine animals composed of more than 95 percent water, with bodies consisting of an umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. Jellyfish are radially symmetrical with a central axis through the length of their bodies. As a result, they have a top and bottom, but no left or right sides, as do most animals whose bodies are bilaterally symmetrical.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do jellyfish eat ?

    A:

    Jellyfish primarily eat plankton, which are organisms that lack the strength and size to swim and therefore drift in marine and freshwater currents. Larger species of jellyfish also eat crustaceans, fish and other jellyfish. Jellyfish are carnivorous and primarily feed on animals. Some jellyfish have tissue containing symbiotic algae, which enables them to receive energy through photosynthesis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the economic importance of Cnidarians?

    A:

    Although they may not look like it, many animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria actually have a quite significant economic importance for humans, especially those belonging to the Anthozoa class. For instance, scientists have discovered many chemical compounds in Cnidarians that can be used to treat cancer and other illnesses.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore