Portuguese Man-of-War Anyone unfamiliar with the... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch

Portuguese Man-of-War

Anyone unfamiliar with the biology of the venomous Portuguese man-of-war would likely mistake it for a jellyfish. Not only is it not a jellyfish, it’s not even an “it,” but a “they.” The Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together.

The man-of-war comprises four separate polyps. It gets its name from the uppermost polyp, a gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, which sits above the water and somewhat resembles an old warship at full sail. Man-of-wars are also known as bluebottles for the purple-blue color of their pneumatophores.

The tentacles are the man-of-war’s second organism. These long, thin tendrils can extend 165 feet (50 meters) in length below the surface, although 30 feet (10 meters) is more the average. They are covered in venom-filled nematocysts used to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. For humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly. But beware—even dead man-of-wars washed up on shore can deliver a sting.

Muscles in the tentacles draw prey up to a polyp containing the gastrozooids or digestive organisms. A fourth polyp contains the reproductive organisms.

Man-of-wars are found, sometimes in groups of 1,000 or more, floating in warm waters throughout the world’s oceans. They have no independent means of propulsion and either drift on the currents or catch the wind with their pneumatophores. To avoid threats on the surface, they can deflate their air bags and briefly submerge.

source

first photo from wiki commons, second photo source

  1. moodhu reblogged this from wild-dark-horses
  2. wild-dark-horses reblogged this from escapysm
  3. viciouslysweetval reblogged this from vikinggoth
  4. gynandromorphbutterfly reblogged this from vikinggoth
  5. vikinggoth reblogged this from bonanzajellibeen
  6. bonanzajellibeen reblogged this from earthandscience
  7. survivinglifesstruggles reblogged this from kaijuborn
  8. arathergrimreaper reblogged this from red-and-blue-goggles
  9. red-and-blue-goggles reblogged this from deciduousness
  10. wolverinebites reblogged this from glassmenagerie
  11. almightyalicia reblogged this from glassmenagerie
  12. cakesovercocaine reblogged this from glassmenagerie
  13. glassmenagerie reblogged this from artists-and-criminals
  14. mr-paquin reblogged this from sexymachine
  15. aurelie-04 reblogged this from the-madness-caught-up-to-me
  16. the-madness-caught-up-to-me reblogged this from wired-infornography
  17. wired-infornography reblogged this from wollffeey
  18. whateverist-party reblogged this from couldnthelpbutsmile
  19. badass-bernarde reblogged this from couldnthelpbutsmile
  20. clever-boxing reblogged this from earthandscience
  21. x-darkcontrast reblogged this from kaijuborn
  22. nightmarenip reblogged this from thescienceblog
  23. vialofhoneyedblood reblogged this from earthandscience
  24. erakkia reblogged this from mimporte-pas
  25. austinedecker reblogged this from wolves-whales-and-waves
  26. longwordsthatmeannothing reblogged this from anyaeliza
  27. ananame reblogged this from ocean-depths