I Don’t Think You’re Ready For These Jellies

Joe from It’s Okay To Be Smart visits some of the coolest inhabitants of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Borneo River Toad

Borneo River Toad

This rather stoic fellow can be found inside the Osher Rainforest at the Academy of Sciences. Unlike many animals, he just sat there calmly and let museum-goers get a good look. Larger version available here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Red Moon Jelly

Red Moon Jelly

At the Academy of Sciences, there’s a cool exhibit that features a dozen or so Moon Jellies in a cylinder. There’s a light shining into the water that changes color every few seconds…and so do the moon jellies. Here’s a close shot of some in red. Larger version can be viewed here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Jellyfish Spiral

Jellyfish Spiral

Here’s a little something from the aquarium at California Academy of Sciences. The tank is pretty dark, save for the shaft of light going down the center. I caught this jellyfish swimming close through the light at just the right moment…Larger version viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Chambered Nautilus

Chambered Nautilus

Here’s a nice, close shot of one of the more interesting inhabitants of the aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The patterns on Chambered Nautilus’ shells are some of the most famous in the animal kingdom. Larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: White-Spotted Jellyfish

White-Spotted Jellyfish

This week’s challenge calls for some close-ups, and I immediately thought of this shot. Meet phyllorhiza punctata, more easily pronounced as a white-spotted jellyfish. According to the display, “These jellies can grow up to 60 cm (24 in) in diameter. The stinging cells in their tentacles capture food and provide protection. Each large jelly can collect food from 50 m³ (65 cu yd) of water a day. Diet: small zooplankton. Distribution: coastal areas and estuaries in the Southwestern Pacific, invasive in Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico.” I photographed this little one, however, at the aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Plankton Rainbow

Plankton Rainbow

This week’s challenge is all about forces of nature, so I thought I’d post something about light and its effects of animals. Here’s another Exploratorium exhibit. Basically, zooplankton can distinguish different colors of light. In the ocean, it helps them swim toward the surface, where their food is located. Blue and green lights shine deeper in the water than the other colors, hence why the plankton are attracted to these ones; they think the sun is shining through the water, and that they’re entering the photic zone for a meal. Large version available here.