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Jellies Travel the World

Visitors can stop by and see sea jellies at CMA any time, but did you know that you can also visit CMA jellies at aquariums across the country and even the globe?

CMA's Director Mike Schaadt is the moderator of the 'jellyfish list serve' for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. "The list serve was started for many purposes, like sharing husbandry ideas, feeding ideas, collection ideas, but it was also started so that we could share surplus animals," explained Schaadt. And since CMA staff members raise sea jellies in the Aquatic Nursery, excess jellies are posted to the list serve and are quickly adopted by other aquariums usually within the hour. In the last few months, CMA jellies have traveled to the New York Aquarium on Coney Island, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

At the Shedd Aquarium, CMA jellies play a starring role in a new exhibit dedicated solely to jellies and how they survive and thrive in the world's oceans. The exhibit features 12 species of jellies and CMA was able to fill the tank showcasing purple-striped sea nettle jellies or Chrysaora colorata. Seven purple-striped sea nettles are on display and six are still developing their stripes in a holding tank behind-the-scenes, all courtesy of staff in the Aquatic Nursery at CMA.

According to Malissa Smith, an aquarist at Shedd Aquarium, Shedd staff members culture six jelly species, but they had to rely on other aquariums to fill all 12 displays for the exhibit. "If you're based in the Midwest, you can't just go out and collect jellies," Smith explained.
"Jellies are really popular and it's a great exhibit to help people in the Midwest understand jellies and see how beautiful they are, since they can't see them in the wild," said Smith. "The exhibit also explains that jellies sting because that's just how they eat, it's not intentional."

Shedd Aquarium's jelly exhibit runs through Memorial Day 2012, so if you happen to visit Chicago before then, stop by and say hello to CMA's purple-striped sea nettle jellies in their new home.

Photo credit: Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez


Post Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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