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Deep sea cnidarians are outrageously weird and beautiful

By Leonard Ho - Posted May 03, 2016 09:00 AM
You think your corals are exotic and beautiful? Take a look at this rare footage taken by NOAA's exploration vessel, Okeanos, of an amazing Crossota sp hydromedusae, a type of animal related to corals and jellyfish. Otherworldly, isn't it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGFh3UNvuCQ

This stunningly beautiful jellyfish was seen during Dive 4 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition on April 24, 2016, while exploring Enigma Seamount at a depth of ~3,700 meters.

Scientists identified this hydromedusa as belonging to the genus Crossota. Note the two sets of tentacles — short and long. At the beginning of the video, you'll see that the long tentacles are even and extended outward and the bell is motionless. This suggests an ambush predation mode. Within the bell, the radial canals in red are connecting points for what looks like the gonads in bright yellow.

Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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