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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Square Jellyfish

The square jellyfish is a vivid description of the anatomical appearance of this kind of jellyfish which appears cuboidal in shape. Usually the right kind of name for identification is the box jellyfish. They belong to the Cubozoa class and the number of species total to over 19. The best known kind of square (or as from here on end box) jellyfish is the Chironex fleckeri which holds the most toxic poison in the entire animal kingdom. The venom targets the cardio-respiratory system. The breathing muscles collapse and the stung person dies from suffocation, shock and from the pain which has been described as extremely overbearing. Statistically, the box jellyfish is the prime killer, ahead of all other animal dangers including sharks and the salty water crocodiles in the Australian region where they are found in abundance.

In terms of their anatomy, the box jellyfish is as simple as jellies are generally known, and measures 20cm in diameter, with tentacles reaching a maximum length of three meters. In mass, the jelly can reach up to 2kg. Their size is not tied to their weight since their anatomies denies them of the most basic organs including the brain. They have no skeletal support system either.

Box jellyfish are camouflage experts. They are transparent pale blue, which makes them hardly noticeable in the water. That means that if one was to sting you, you would hardly see it coming. The box jellyfish prefer the warm waters, in contrast to other species. In the winters, Australian winters that is, the possibility of finding some is very minute.

It's important to note at this point that not all species of square or box jellyfish are fatal to human. This is reserved to only a few of these, with the C. fleckeri, being the most venomous among them.

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