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Combfish: Not a Jellyfish

May 31, 2012

Its been a while I updated my blog. I will try to post atleast one or two interesting posts a week from here on. To get started with, I have got a picture and video which I took while visiting Shedd Aquarium during memorial day weekend in Chicago. The image shown above is a kind of jellyfish (not exactly the same species) also called as Comb fish (Ctenophora, Greek-Comb bearers). Unlike Jellyfish, they don’t sting. As can be seen from the image that the most distinctive feature of this marine organism is comb like structure (cilia, typically 8 of them) which they use for locomotion. Their body consists of mass of jellies covered by a single layer of cells on the outside and another layer of cells inside. These layers are typically two cells deep (as compared to jellyfish which are mostly single cell deep). Similar to Jellyfish, combfish also have a network of nerves all over these layers as compared to centralized brain. The combs also scatter light which gives rainbow like effect when they move. Typically they are transparent, but some them also have bio-luminescence which gives them distinct blue and green color and can be observed in dark. There are many aspects of combfish which are not clearly understood yet. Combfish are typically predatory in nature and their bloom in Dead sea lead to wiping out of fish in the area as they ate fish larvae affecting the livelihood of fishermen. If you prefer video than just a picture, then here goes the video with combfish in motion.

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