By Andrea Thompson
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 01 April 2007
A set of special eyes, similar to our own, keeps venomous box jellyfish from bumping into obstacles as they swim across the ocean floor, a new study finds.
Unlike normal jellyfish, which drift in the ocean current, box jellyfish are active swimmers that can rapidly make 180-degree turns and deftly dart between objects.
Scientists suspect that box jellyfish are such agile because one set of their 24 eyes detects objects that get in their way.
The eyes of box jellyfish are located on cup-like structures that hang from their cube-shaped bodies.
Whereas we have one set of multi-purpose eyes that sense color, size, shape and light intensity, box jellyfish have four different types of special-purpose eyes.
The most primitive set detects only light levels, but one set of eyes is more sophisticated and can detect the color and size of objects.
Through unique eyes, box jellyfish look out to the world above the water: here.
Scientists Unravel Evolution of Highly Toxic Box Jellyfish: here.
The fearsome box jellyfish packs venom that is among the deadliest in the world, but a new treatment may take the sting out of its powerful poison, according to a new study: here.
- Deadliest Jellyfish’s Sting May Have Met Its Match (livescience.com)
- Lethal stings from the Australian box jellyfish could be treated with zinc (medicalxpress.com)
- You can have your tropics – think I’ll stay home and live a little longer (bourbonink.wordpress.com)