Jellyfish - wildlife in the seas off France

Photo of Jellyfish

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In France jellyfish are most commonly found on the coast of the Mediterranean and south to the island of Corsica, although they are also found in other coastal areas of France. The french name for a jellyfish is M├ęduse.

Characteristics

Jellyfish often remain quietly unseen just below the water surface - until one stings you and you become very aware of their presence! Note: most jellyfish do not sting people, only a limited number of species can sting.

Curiously some years there are very few in the waters of the Mediterranean, while other years a large number arrive together in a particular region - this is because of the changing winds and water currents that carry the jellyfish along.Even more unpredictable, a beach that is completely clear one day can be unswimmanle the next day!

Because they tend to move in large shoals so if you are stung by one it might be best to leave the water! It is very rare for jellyfish stings to be fatal, but they are most definitely unpleasant, and the risk of serious injury or death is increased if you find yourself receiving multiple stings, by accidentally swimming through a large shoal of the creatures.

Life of a jellyfish

Despite their name jellyfish are not a type of fish, but rather a type of plankton. They lack a brain and other organs associated with more advanced species.

Their reproduction cycle starts when a male jellyfish dies and releases sperm into the water. This sperm then reaches the eggs that are carried by the female jellyfish and fertilises the eggs. The tiny young are then released into the water where they get carried by the water until they slowly sink to the bottom where they attach to rocks.

Over time the tiny cell of the creature develops and multiplies innumerable times, gaining food from the water. Over an extended period, sometimes over the course of many years, an entire colony is created and eventually, usually due to changing water conditions, these are released into the water as baby jellyfish. They then grow and become the jellyfish that we see on beaches.

 
 

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