Giant Sea-Creature Made of Thousands of Clones Assumes an Attack Posture

The ocean has a wild array of unique creatures. One of the most amazing are siphonophores. What is a siphonophore? He’s a description from Nautilus Live:

[Siphonophores] are colonial animals. Humans are born with one small body, and different parts of that body are functionally specialized for different tasks. To grow, we make our one body larger.

Siphonophores take a very different developmental and evolutionary approach to becoming large, complex organisms. They also start with one body, but they grow by asexually producing many more small bodies that all remain attached. And each body is functionally specialized for particular tasks, such as feeding or reproduction. The complexity of how these bodies are specialized and organized in the colony far exceeds that of any other colonial animal.

Recently a research vessel from the Schmidt Ocean Institute with the delightful name Falkor, deploying its aptly named rover SuBastian, discovered an enormous string-like siphonophore. More from SYFY:

According to Logan Mock-Bunting of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, this particular Apolemia specimen measured approximately 49 feet in diameter, with its outer ring a colossal 154 feet in length. However, the whole jelly-like creature is much longer longer than that, and the dedicated Falkor’s crew believes it be over 390 feet long, making it one of the largest siphonophores ever recorded and the longest animal ever found in the Indian Ocean.

Learn and see more!

 


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