so this little marine critter is the famous siphonophore (NOT A JELLYFISH) Portuguese Man O’ War

such a cute baby alien, This Physalia physalis was stranded at Olivencia beach, Bahia - Brazil, scaring misunderstood people who didnt appreciate her beauty

A Siphonophore  is any of various transparent, often subtly colored marine hydrozoans of the order Siphonophora, consisting of a floating or swimming colony of polyp-like and medusa-like individuals.


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Not much is known about this mysterious species, measuring 50 cm long and has a powerful sting that can be felt in the water surrounding the creature.

The incredibly rare Crambione cookii had not been seen since 1910, but has recently been discovered on the coast of Queensland, Australia, where he was captured.

His sketch has so far been the only record of the living creature and has even been used to help identify the animal by jellyfish expert Lisa-Ann Gershwin, who confirmed the existence of this unusual marine inhabitant after he was captured.


Pulse Corals are unique in that they’re constantly in motion!

Their polyps are long and thin and topped by eight tentacles which rhythmically open and close all day and all night.

It has nothing to do with capturing prey, for these corals get almost all their food from symbiotic, photosynthesising zooxanthellae.

It seems the pulsing actually assists those same photosynthetic microbes. It helps the coral get rid of oxygen so that their guests can better get to work turning sunlight into food.

It also happens to be rather mesmerising!

…Videos: 1, 2


Blue Button (Porpita porpita)

…a species of colonial porpitid hydrozoans which occur in tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Although blue buttons look similar to jellyfish they are actually a colony of numerous hydrozoan polyps. Blue buttons are typically seen drifting on the surface of the ocean where it feeds on zooplankton which drift too close. Blue button colonies consist of two main parts: the float which is a hard brown circle which keeps the colony afloat, and the colony which forms the “tentacles” of the organism, these tentacles are laced with nematocysts which are used to dispatch prey.  


Animalia-Cnidaria-Medusozoa-Hydrozoa-Anthomedusae-Porpitidae-Porpita-P. porpita

Images: Bruce Moravchik and Tanay PrabhuDesai


Jellyfish and Comb Jellies (Cnidaria & Ctenophora)

by The Ocean Portal Team
Reviewed by Allen Collins

Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean’s water column around the world. They are both beautiful—the jellyfish with their pulsating bells and long, trailing tentacles, and the comb jellies with their paddling combs generating rainbow-like colors.

Yet though they look similar in some ways, jellyfish and comb jellies are not very close relatives (being in different phyla—Cnidaria and Ctenophora, respectively) and have very different life histories.

Both groups are ancient animals, having roamed the seas for at least 500 million years. And, in the modern age, they are having similar effects on ecosystems. As seawater temperature rises, predators of jellies are removed by fishing, more structures are built in seawater, and more nutrients flow into the ocean, some types of jellyfish and comb jellies may be finding it easier to grow and survive…

(read more: Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal)


K. Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College, Arctic Exploration 2002, NOAA
K. Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College, Hidden Ocean 2005, NOAA
Marco Faasse, World Register of Marine Species
Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life


Here’s a sweet little siphonophore bobbing around in the deep sea!

Siphonophores are members of the phylum Cnidaria, like jellyfish, sea anemones and corals.

They’re colonial animals. What you see here is not one, single individual, but an entire army of sea anemones and jellyfish all stuck together.

The sea anemones (or polyps) are at the bottom and use their stinging tentacles to catch food.

The jellyfish (or medusae) are at the top, where they pulse and beat away so that the whole gang can get around.

The Golden Horde is back! And this time they’re kinda cute.

…Video: Inner Space Centre



(Velella velella)

also known as the sea raft or the by-the-wind sailor, the velella is a small species of free floating hydrozoan found in open waters worldwide. While they are not a siphonophore like the Man o’ War they live a similar lifestyle, in that they live on the ocean surface and use a sail for locomotion, and wait for food to move into their tentacles. also like most cnidarians they fall prey to nudibranchs like the blue dragon. They are found mostly on beaches due to the fact that they rely solely on their sail for locomotion, and some times that leads them to their demise.