Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Fri nite frite I: Revenge of the death jellyfish


In a recent book from U Chicago Press, Tim Flannery claims jellyfish are multiplying and taking over:

Most jellyfish are little more than gelatinous bags containing digestive organs and gonads, drifting at the whim of the current. But box jellyfish are different. They are active hunters of medium-sized fish and crustaceans, and can move at up to twenty-one feet per minute. They are also the only jellyfish with eyes that are quite sophisticated, containing retinas, corneas, and lenses. And they have brains, which are capable of learning, memory, and guiding complex behaviors.

Funny that, considering how old and primitive they are supposed to be.

From the Arctic to the equator and on to the Antarctic, jellyfish plagues (or blooms, as they’re technically known) are on the increase. Even sober scientists are now talking of the jellification of the oceans.

Here’s a dose of Irukandji box jelly in case you doubt:

Double bill this time.

Next: Atheist apocalypses and unbeliever unbelievables

"Quick Maybelle! Get the producers of 'Sharknado' on the line..." "I've got the first act of the screenplay on paper already..." "Since last night, right..." "Well it isn't a sequel to Hamlet we're talking about here..." "What's that you say?... They want to know what?... "What's the title?..." "'Jellycain,' of course..." jstanley01
Interestingly, 'soft-bodied' Jellyfish may have appeared in the fossil record a few ten million years before the Cambrian Explosion, and have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the fossil record. Instant Body Plans: The Case of Jellyfish - July 26, 2013 Excerpt: Cubomedusae (box jellyfish) are particularly interesting. They have eyes that are almost human-like! "As the name depicts, Cubozoans have a squarish shape with four tentacles and four rhopalia. Each rhopalium contains six eyes of four different types, two of which (the upper lens eye and the lower lens eye) are highly developed image-forming eyes with cornea, pupil, lens, and retina, much like our own...." "The earliest widely accepted animal fossils are rather modern-looking cnidarians, possibly from around 580 million years ago, although fossils from the Doushantuo Formation can only be dated approximately." So it's not clear that the dates are right, but even if they precede the main (Cambrian) explosion by 40 million years, they are already "modern-looking." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/07/instant_body_pl074861.html Moreover, contrary to evolutionary thinking, Jellyfish appear to have essential purpose in preparing, and maintaining, the ecosystem for the Cambrian Explosion that was to follow. Marine animals cause a stir - July 2009 Excerpt: Kakani Katija and John Dabiri used field measurements of jellyfish swimming in a remote island lake, combined with a new theoretical model, to demonstrate that the contribution of living organisms to ocean mixing via this mechanism is substantial — of the same order of magnitude as winds and tides. (Winds and tides, due to their prevention of stagnation, are known to be essential for life on earth.) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v460/n7255/edsumm/e090730-08.html Picture of Jellyfish exhibiting bioluminescence: http://www.holisticprimarycare.net/images/stories/topics_healthy_aging/Aequorea-2.jpg Edith Widder: Glowing life in an underwater world - video http://www.ted.com/talks/edith_widder_glowing_life_in_an_underwater_world.html Description: Some 80 to 90 percent of undersea creatures make light -- and we know very little about how or why. Bioluminescence expert Edith Widder explores this glowing, sparkling, luminous world, sharing glorious images and insight into the unseen depths (and brights) of the ocean. Comb Jellies (Extremely ancient life form) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7WT81ukHZE Amazing Jellies - KQED QUEST - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pimIbTqJLZc David Gallo: Underwater astonishments - video http://www.ted.com/talks/david_gallo_shows_underwater_astonishments.html David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square's worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean. As to 'Friday night fright', this is one creature I would have never wanted to meet: Giant Sea Scorpion Discovered; Was Bigger Than a Man Excerpt: The size of a large crocodile, the 390-million-year-old sea scorpion http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/11/071121-giant-scorpion.html bornagain77
I, for one, welcome our new box jellyfish overlords. I first learned about them in marine biology class in 1986. They're one of the most venomous creatures in the ocean. Barb

Leave a Reply