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Why does Jellyfish sting?

Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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Hint: These are simple invertebrates of phylum Cnidaria. The body parts of jellyfish radiate from a central axis.It has an elementary nervous system, or nerve net, which allows jellyfish to smell, detect light, and respond to other stimuli. Jellyfish have the ability to sting with their tentacles.

Complete answer:
Jelly fish are soft as they are made of 95 percent water and are mostly made up of a translucent substance called mesoglea. With such delicate bodies, they rely on thousands of venom containing stinging cells called cnidocytes for protection and pre-capturing. Even baby jellyfish the size of a pencil eraser have the ability to sting. The largest species of the jelly the Lion’s mane has tentacles that can extend more than 100 feet longer than a blue whale.These tentacles contain most of the stinging cells although some species have them on their belly too.

The reaction is intended as a defence response and to capture prey. Jelly fish are carnivorous and use their stingers to capture alga, zooplankton, and crustaceans. Its tentacles contain the weapons used to immobilize prey. Each jellyfish tentacle is packed with thousands of cnidoblasts, which are cells that contain nematocysts. Touch triggers them to shoot. The stinging thread at the tip of nematocysts inserts itself into the skin and injects venom. The venom is a neurotoxin which is meant to paralyze prey but in case of humans it is painful.

Jellyfish venoms are complex and contain porins, neurotoxin and lipids. The porins tear the holes in the blood cells and trigger an inflammatory response in mast cells (cells in the immune system responsible for allergies and anaphylaxis). Some proteins in the venom cause local pain and skin lesions.

Note: Jellyfishes are made up of a translucent substance called mesoglea. With such delicate bodies they have venom containing cells called cnidocytes for protection and for obtaining food. These strings are used as a defence mechanism and for capturing prey.