Psychedelic Jellyfish in the Midnight Zone of Monterey Bay

This jelly is one of the most colorful residents of the ocean’s midnight zone. The remarkable coloration of this jelly tipped off scientists that they had found a previously unknown species. It was named in honor of Claudia Mills for her dedication to studying the ocean’s delicate drifters. MBARI has observed several species of Crossota in Monterey Canyon. Unlike many jellies, we can see obvious differences between the males and females. The eggs in the females are large and globular, while the male gonads are shaped like sausages. The baby medusae stay attached under the mother’s bell until they are ready to launch. While brooding behavior is not unique to this jelly, it is always exciting to observe in the deep sea. MBARI’s robotic submersibles give us a peek at how animals thrive in the ocean’s dark depths.

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