New rainbow glow jellyfish found by scientists

March 18th, 2009 - 1:06 pm ICT by ANI  

National Geographic

Washington, March 18 (ANI): Marine scientists have discovered a new species of jellyfish near the waters of Tasmania, which has a rainbow glow.

According to a report in National Geographic News, Jellyfish expert Lisa Gershwin caught the unnamed species in early March while swimming near a jetty off the Australian island of Tasmania with a phototank a small aquarium that makes it easy to photograph sea life.

The jellyfish does not emit its own light, as bioluminescent creatures do.

Rather, its rainbow glow emanates from light reflecting off the creatures cilia, small hair-like projections that beat simultaneously to move the jellyfish through the water.

Though the glowing jelly is Gershwins 159th species discovery in Australia, she still finds the discovery simply splendid.

For one, the jelly is relatively large 5 inches (13 centimeters) long.

The new species also belongs to Ctenophora, a strange and poorly known group of animals, said Gershwin, curator of natural science at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Tasmania.

The invertebrate is also incredibly fragile. It shatters as soon as it touches a net, according to Gershwin.

So it begs the question, of how many fragile species are out there, right under our noses, that we have overlooked, she said. (ANI)

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