33 Stay flexible

If you are keen on swimming in the ocean, you might not be charmed by its appearance. But seen from the right perspective, the moon jelly Aurelia aurita looks like a shimmering beauty.

In a laboratory experiment at the Alfred Wegener Institute, ephyra larvae of moon jellies developed perfectly at elevated water temperatures, lower pH values and reduced oxygen concentrations. Biologists conclude that the animals are flexible enough to resist the effects of global climate change.

Jellyfish also count as plankton, by the way. The term derives from the ancient Greek word for “stray” or “errant”. Scientists call every organism “plankton” that is not able to swim against ocean currents, but drifts with them. Jellyfish are able to influence their course, but they always follow the current.

Photo: Solvin Zankl