Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How voracious comb jellyfish makes itself 'invisible' to prey

Date:
October 11, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Despite its primitive structure, the North American comb jellyfish cansneak up on its prey like a high-tech stealth submarine, making it a successful predator.Researchers have now been able to show how the jellyfish makes itself hydrodynamically 'invisible'.

The North American comb jellyfish Mnemiopsis leidyi has a simple structure with two large oral lobes for catching prey.
Credit: Photo by Lars Johan Hansson

Despite its primitive structure, the North American comb jellyfish can sneak up on its prey like a high-tech stealth submarine, making it a successful predator. Researchers, including one from the University of Gothenburg, have now been able to show how the jellyfish makes itself hydrodynamically 'invisible'.

Related Articles


The North American comb jellyfish Mnemiopsis leidyi has long been known to consume vast quantities of zooplankton. A few years ago the species became established in Northern Europe.

Like many other jellyfish, Mnemiopsis leidyi has a large gelatinous body. The large size increases its chances of encountering prey, but can also be a disadvantage since the prey organisms are often highly sensitive to movements in the water. Nevertheless, the comb jellyfish manages to catch large amounts of copepod plankton, which are known for their acute escape response.

Able to catch the world's most vigilant plankton

"Copepods have a well developed ability to detect even the slightest water disturbance," says Lars Johan Hansson, a researcher at the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg. "They can swim well clear of the source of water deformation in just a split second. How the comb jellyfish is able to approach and catch some of the animal world's most vigilant plankton has up until now been unknown."

The researchers used advanced video technology to study water flows around and within the comb jellyfish. These measurements were then used to calculate the water deformation generated by the jellyfish and compare this with the levels that trigger an escape response in copepods.

"It emerged that the comb jellyfish uses microscopic, hairlike cilia inside its oral lobes to generate a feeding current that carefully transports water between the lobes. As the water accelerates slowly and is transported undisturbed into the jellyfish together with the prey, there is nothing that alarms the prey until it is next to the capture site inside the lobes, by which time it's too late to escape. This makes the jellyfish a hydrodynamically silent predator."

The research on the ability of the comb jellyfish to capture its prey was carried out jointly by researchers from the USA, Norway and the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg.

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. P. Colin, J. H. Costello, L. J. Hansson, J. Titelman, J. O. Dabiri. Stealth predation and the predatory success of the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; 107 (40): 17223 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003170107

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "How voracious comb jellyfish makes itself 'invisible' to prey." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101010183703.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, October 11). How voracious comb jellyfish makes itself 'invisible' to prey. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101010183703.htm
University of Gothenburg. "How voracious comb jellyfish makes itself 'invisible' to prey." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101010183703.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins