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Rocky Shore Trail
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Rocky Shores | Rocky Shore Creatures

Sea Gooseberry or Comb Jellies

Sea Gooseberry

Sea Gooseberries or Comb-Jellies are planktonic creatures; they have transparent narrow domes. Down the side of the "bell" are eight rows of beating hairs - cilia. As they beat rapidly so they produce interference patterns in the water and look like changing colours. Some species have trailing tentacles for catching prey; these are the combs to gave the original name of comb-jelly.

These unusual animals are beautiful to watch as the shimmering cilia beat to drive the transparent bag forward. Beroe has no tentacles and catches its prey by keeping the mouth opens as it swims, picking up planktonic larvae and crustaceans. They are hermaphrodites and release the gametes into the water for fertilisation. No known asexual methods occur but it does have good powers of regeneration.


Beroe (photo John Archer-Thomson)

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