Moon Jelly Culturing

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Prepare to be mesmerized, by stepping into the Aquarium's jellies exhibit, featuring Moon Jellies and Pacific Sea Nettles.

Aquarium of the Bay's team of Aquarists have cultured more than 100,000 Moon Jellies, Aurelia aurita, over the past 12 years. This thriving jelly culture has enabled the Aquarium to rely on its in-house collection for exhibits, as well as donate the animals to other nature centers.

While jellies in the wild typically only live to one year old, due to predation by animals including turtles and other jellies, they can survive much longer at aquariums where they are protected and closely monitored.

Moon Jelly females produce eggs which are fertilized by males and then released as larvae called planula. The planula swim away and settle on the bottom and become polyps, which eventually start budding off baby jellies, called ephyra, that grow into adult Moon Jellies.

“Moon jellies are one of the most primordial marine creatures, yet they don’t look like they should be alive,” said Michael Grassmann, Aquarist II at Aquarium of the Bay. “Their calming presence, combined with alien-like looks makes them visitor favorites.”