Previously considered the ultimate marine survivors, and garnered the infamous designation of being the “cockroaches of the open waters,” jellyfish are doling out the comeuppance to those who ever doubted their predatory skills.
These aren’t just gelatinous scavengers capable of living in overheated, acidic, and polluted seas – no, jellyfish are the new sharks.
The silent and slow-swimming gelatinous animals can punch just as much of an impact on the food web, and are taking over the top predator position in the ocean.
Even though its attack is not based on a visually coordinated strike, like that of a shark or tuna for example, jellyfish can eat their weight in crustacean prey making them predatory competitors with larger fish.
“In spite of their primitive life-style, jellyfishes exhibit similar instantaneous prey clearance and respiration rates as their fish competitors and similar potential for growth and reproduction,” writes biological oceanographer Jos