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Tiny Jellyfish a Big Delight on Oregon Coast
(Seaside, Oregon) – This week saw another one of nature’s fun and funky critters hitting the shores of the Oregon coast in the form of little jellyfish that look like bubbles sitting by themselves in the sand. It’s called a Sea Gooseberry (Pleurobrachi bachei) and it shows up fairly often during spring and summer on the beaches. (Above: a sea Gooseberry on the beach at Oceanside).
Seaside Aquarium staff spotted them in the Seaside area this week, and they were also photographed in Oceanside.
“The Sea Gooseberry is a type of comb jelly which belong to the phylum Ctenophora,” said Seaside Aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe. “Animals that belong to this phylum have one distinct feature: their ‘combs,’ or groups of cilia that they use for swimming.”
As small as they are (about the size of a quarter), they’re actually the largest animal that swim by means of cilia.
“Adults vary in size depending on species from a few millimeters to 59 inches in size,” Boothe said.
They have sticky branched tentacles which they use to snag prey, moving in an upward spiral motion to aide in this endeavor.
“They are considered a dominant predator feeding on copepods, larval fish, various types of eggs, and small crustaceans,” Boothe said.
She said the Sea Gooseberry is able to release up to 1,000 eggs per day. This can result in massive increases in population.
The pictures here from Seaside Aquarium show the Sea Gooseberry in a tank at the aquarium, where they only lived a short period.
Where you'll find them along the Oregon coast is difficult to predict because it depends on tides and currents, and this can vary drastically from beach to beach. But check any beach you visit these days and you'll likely find at least one.
You'll likely find them in spots in various areas around Yachats, Pacific City, Cannon Beach, Warrenton, Oceanside, Lincoln City and more.
Keywords: science, marine biology, Oregon coast treasures.
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