Cool Seas Gets New Exhibit
A new species of jellyfish has today gone on display in the Cool Seas exhibit, as The Deep becomes the first UK aquarium to attempt to culture this species (not to over-egg it!).
An Undercooked Fried Egg
It’s easy to see how this particular animal got its name. Growing up to 2ft wide, the bell of this jellyfish looks exactly like an undercooked fried egg, complete with a bright yellow ‘yolk’ at the centre. It’s tentacles can grow to a whopping 20ft long and have a remarkably mild sting – but are very sticky! They trail along in the current latching on to prey then immobilising them with the sting of its oral arms underneath the bell. Their diet mostly consists of other jellyfish and the colour of the ‘yolk’, ranging from a yellow/orange to a purple/black, can tell us exactly what species it has been eating.
These 6 young adults have come to the The Deep from Vienna Zoo along with 4 other species of jellyfish in their polyp phase - including yet another new species for them, the Umbrella Jellyfish. Over the years The Deep has successfully cultured and displayed 5 species of jellyfish and are currently working on culturing another 6 species behind the scenes.
Tom Rowe, Aquarist in charge of jellyfish at The Deep says “It’s great to have new species to work with. It presents a new challenge. We have recently become the first UK aquarium, to culture the Black Sea Nettle which is a great achievement as every advancement allows us to learn more about their biology and identify species specific requirements for aquarium husbandry”.