( So, I’m having trouble coming up with titles … )
This is the third entry (perhaps the last, for now) in a series of sea jelly photographs I’m exploring in black and white. I started looking at their forms for some drawings and found them interesting presented in monochrome.
All of the sea jellies pictured here are Ctenophores (comb jellies). Ctenophores are classified differently from ‘true’ jellies because of their combs – rows of hair-like cilia that are used for swimming and also catching/consuming food (The actual cilia are not really observable in these photographs).
The images above are studies of just one comb jelly – perhaps Mnemiopsis leidyias or Bolinopsis infundibulum (they are difficult to tell apart). When this jelly was not moving it became rather formless-looking and alien-like, especially under these particular lighting circumstances. With different lighting (and in colour!) you may be able to see that this jelly is bio-luminescent.
The second gallery of images (with the exception of the last two) are a series of Pleurobrachia (Sea Gooseberries). You can see how they may have picked up the nickname of sea gooseberries.
The two tiny comb jellies at the end are Beroe Ctenophores. The beroe ctenophores have no tentacles and capture food through opening and closing their mouths.
[These photographs of Atlantic sea jellies were made in Cape Breton in the spring of 2012]
© Karen McRae, 2013