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.


first photo from wiki commons, second photo source

  1. leandra-cerai reblogged this from gotchibi
  2. radical-concepts reblogged this from rabbitzfeet and added:
    These fuckers are all over Bermuda and they hold the worst memories of my childhood.
  3. slightlyamusedslightlyannoyed reblogged this from rabbitzfeet
  4. fauxwulf reblogged this from rabbitzfeet
  5. rabbitzfeet reblogged this from slightlyamusedslightlyannoyed
  6. thisbrunetteisdonewithyourshit reblogged this from escapysm
  7. stiltsonstairs reblogged this from mothgender
  8. mothgender reblogged this from dreamfulartist
  9. sensiblestupidity reblogged this from lifeunderthewaves
  10. kelseysometimes reblogged this from 18-goingon80
  11. vikinghans reblogged this from bioticbear
  12. hikeheart reblogged this from asithian
  13. asithian reblogged this from vncleiroh
  14. redleaderk613 reblogged this from brainheartlungsgut
  15. bitches-do-the-dishes reblogged this from mizmoxie
  16. conquershewill reblogged this from muntedpussywarfare
  17. mettymoop reblogged this from brainheartlungsgut
  18. muntedpussywarfare reblogged this from brainheartlungsgut
  19. brainheartlungsgut reblogged this from miltanks-titties
  20. peabodysmith reblogged this from gravitationalbeauty
  21. ophidian-nightmare reblogged this from molluscamanifesto
  22. marinerose94 reblogged this from molluscamanifesto
  23. molluscamanifesto reblogged this from psherman42wallabywaysydney22
  24. commandwolfmarkii reblogged this from hellahalla
  25. hellahalla reblogged this from bioticbear
  26. centurione reblogged this from bioticbear