Recently seen at Westward Ho!

Ctenophores, known commonly as sea gooseberries or comb jellies. They are carnivorous predators in the Plankton. They eat zooplankton, fish eggs and fish larvae. They catch their prey with their sticky tentacles which they can retract when not feeding. Their name “ctenophore” comes from the Greek words ctena (comb) and phora (bearer). They have eight rows of fused cilia on their surface which they beat in rythym to propel themselves through the water. It is these “combs” that have the irridescent look.

(All images courtesy of N. Billingham).


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