What’s a siphonophore and how long is it?


What is a siphonophore? It is an aquatic deep sea predator that belongs in the same invertebrate family (coelenterate) as jellyfish.

Why are we talking about siphonophores today? A group of researchers from the Schmidt Ocean Institute have discovered a very very long chain of these that resembles a long string. It looks like one organism, but is actually thousands of tiny creatures bound together. This might be the longest animal ever seen and recorded!

Where did they find this? In the Ningaloo Caves off the Western coast of Australia.

How long is this? They say that unraveled, it would be about 154 feet or about 11 stories high! That makes this the largest such group of creatures that has been found.

Why is this important? It is a record of the beauty and diversity that exists on earth. It is important to have a good understanding of the kinds of species that exist so that we can estimate the impact of climate change on them, and on their habitats. We can try to come up with solutions to conserve and protect as much as possible.

Check it out!

Adapted from EcoWatch and Newsweek by: Sunaina Murthy


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