We think that the strangest organism in the Earth is Turritopsis nutricula. It’s a hidrozoo hidroideo jellyfish of the family of Oceanidae. It’s an original species from the Caribbean Sea, but now it’s around the world, in all the warm and tropical seas. Scientists have seen it from Colombia since Japan and also in the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s about 4-5 mm of diameter. It’s tall with a transparent and gelatinous skin.
The young organisms have eight tentacles and the adults can have between 80-90 tentacles! It has a big red stomach inside, and it can shine in the dark! They think that it’s because it’s toxic. We think that this specie is strange because scientists say that it’s immortal. They think that it’s immortal because it doesn’t reproduce at the normal way.
The reproduction is done in different ways. Some species are sexual but others are asexual. Sexual jellyfish (male & female) drop sperm and eggs into water and let it fertilized and create larva. This larva searchs a place in the sea sand and, when it touches the ground, it becomes a polyp. That polyp grows and shows some tentacles, and then, it divides into parts, and those parts floats. Then, in the water they join together with the tentacles down to create the jellyfish. Then the jellyfish grows and when it’s older, its cells start to regenerate and it returns to a polyp. It can do this process in all its stages. That means that it’s a specie that has a cycle life in which it returns to polyp phase after it arrived to its sexual maduration.
Laboratory studies showed that the 100% of the jellyfish species could return to the polyp phase, but this specie (Turritopsis nutricula) is the only one that has the ability to do it, because to return to be a polyp, the jellyfish has to have some specific cells. But that doesn’t mean that it is indestructible. It can die, for example, because it has some illness or because some predatory eat it. Professionals say that probably this ability to avoid the dead is unique in the animal kingdom, that’s the reason because we think this is the strangest organism in the Earth.
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_nutricula#Inmortalidad_biol.C3.B3gica // (19/01/17)
- El Mundo. http://www.elmundo.es/ciencia/2015/09/18/55faea64e2704e034b8b45af.html// (17/01/17)
- First image. https://wilsonkhoo.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/immortal-jellyfish2.png// (18/01/17)
- Second image.https://almatma.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/almatma_fig-7-turritopsis-nutricula-immortal-jellyfish-2013.jpg // (19/01/17)
- Third image. https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7278/7764545712_d884bd77ff_b.jpg//(22/01/17)
Name of the participants: Ana Aragón, Sara Hidalgo, Xavi Valeri