Man O’ War?!?

We always hear & see stories of weird blue floating jellyfish that have either washed up on shore, or are seen floating around boats.  They are described as blue balloons floating on top of the water.  These blue creatures are a type of Cnidarian called the Portuguese Man O' War.  These are super cool organisms, and believe it or not, they are not jellyfish! They are actually a mixture of animals called Zooids, which are all working together to form what we see as the Portuguese Man O’ War. How cool is that?!   

Just like the rest of the Cnidarians, they too have stinging Nematocytes for catching and paralyzing their prey. So, these blue creatures float around the water with their long tentacles hanging down.  When the unsuspecting prey comes up to investigate, the Portuguese Man O’ War uses the nematocytes to harpoon and catch their prey.   

To find out more about other animals in the hydrozoa be sure to check out the Hydrozoa Center in the Kids' Zone.

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