The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is one of the largest known species of jellyfish. Here are some key characteristics of the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish:
- Size: The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish has a distinct appearance with a bell-shaped body and long, trailing tentacles.
- Appearance: The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish gets its name from its distinctive appearance, with long, hair-like tentacles resembling the mane of a lion. These tentacles can be reddish-brown or yellowish in color and are lined with stinging cells (nematocysts) that help the jellyfish capture its prey.
- Distribution: Lion’s Mane Jellyfish are found in the cold waters of the northern Atlantic and northern Pacific Oceans. They are often encountered in coastal areas and are known to venture closer to shore during the summer and autumn months.
- Sting: The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish has stinging cells on its tentacles that it uses to immobilize and capture small fish, plankton, and other prey. While its sting is not usually life-threatening to humans, it can cause irritation, pain, and discomfort. In individuals who are sensitive or have allergies, the sting can lead to more severe reactions.
- Seasonal Blooms: Lion’s Mane Jellyfish are known to exhibit seasonal blooms, where large numbers of individuals gather in specific areas.
- Prey and Feeding: Lion’s Mane Jellyfish primarily feed on small fish, plankton, and other jellyfish species. They use their tentacles to capture prey, and once caught, they bring the prey toward their mouth located on the underside of their bell for ingestion.
- Lifespan: The lifespan of a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish varies, but it is estimated to be around one year. They go through different life stages, starting as a larva and progressing to a polyp stage before becoming mature jellyfish.