Sep 29

Thirteen ocean creatures have surfaced all around Bristol’s BS5 postcode, snapped by some of the world’s very best wildlife photographers. To prove how turtle-y awesome they all are, we’ve created blogs on all of the featured species sharing ten epic facts about them! Sail your way around the exhibition by downloading your very own map and guide.

1) The lion’s mane jellyfish has been on Earth since before the dinosaurs – they’ve been floating around in the ocean for around 650 million years.

2) This species earned its name from its red and yellow tentacles, which it has up to 1,200 of, that are very similar to the colour and structure of a lion’s mane (see image below)!

3) It can grow to over 2m wide, with tentacles up to 60m long – that’s longer than an Olympic-sized swimming pool!

4) Jellyfish have to digest their food really fast – if they didn’t they wouldn’t be able to float and would be weighed down by their dinner!

5) In an extreme example of one-size-fits-all, a jelly’s mouth is also its jet propulsion unit (cool!) and eh.. also its bum (gross!).

6) Like all jellies, the lion’s mane jellyfish has no brain, blood, or nervous system. Hold on, does that make it a zombie?!

 

 

7) As if having some of the same characteristics as a zombie wasn’t freaky enough, jellyfish can also clone themselves! Being asexual, they are able to create both eggs and sperm so they don’t need a mate to create any offspring.

8) The lion’s mane jellyfish is bioluminescent, meaning it has the ability to create its own light and glow in the dark.

9) Every animal needs a nemesis, and the lion’s mane jellyfish has a mortal enemy in the leatherback turtle that feeds almost exclusively on jellyfish.

10) This may surprise you, but you can actually eat jellyfish, and it’s been on the menu of Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants for some time! With jellyfish thriving in overfished areas, you might see it slipping onto your plate more frequently in the not-too-distant future!

Mar 26

On Saturday 29th March at 8:30 pm, millions of people across the world will take part in WWF’s Earth Hour by turning off their lights for one hour. Held annually, WWF’s Earth Hour is a unique phenomenon that encourages individuals, communities and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet.

Now in its eighth year, the Earth Hour event was first held in Sydney in 2007. For Earth Hour 2013, over 7,000 cities and towns across more than 150 countries and territories participated.

This year has seen the launch of Earth Hour Blue, an all-new digital crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet. This new platform gives individuals from around the world the chance to help fund or add their voice to environmental and social projects which are important to them.

Here at ARKive, to get ready for Earth Hour we have been thinking about species which are at home in the dark.

Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur

Believed to be the world’s smallest living primate, Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is a nocturnal primate endemic to Madagascar. This lemur is well adapted to its nocturnal lifestyle as it has extremely large forward-facing eyes with a shiny layer behind the retina that reflects light back through the eye, significantly improving night vision.

Cave salamander

This unusual-looking animal is the rare cave salamander,  an amphibian which lives in dark, subterranean caves in central Europe. As this cave-dwelling animal spends its entire life in darkness, its eyes are so poorly developed that it is actually blind. 

Lion’s mane jellyfish

One of the largest jellyfish in the world, the lion’s mane jellyfish gains its common name from the long, thin, hair-like tentacles found hanging from the underside of its bell-shaped body. As well as being one of the largest jellyfish, the lion’s mane jellyfish is also often bioluminescent, meaning it produces its own light, making it glow in dark waters.

Night-flowering orchid

As its common name suggests, the night-flowering orchid is the only known orchid species which opens its flowers at night. Described as recently as 2011, it is not yet known for certain why this orchid opens its flowers at night, but it is likely that the flies which pollinate this species are nocturnal.

Devil’s worm

Thought to be the world’s deepest-living animal, the Devil’s worm is definitely a creature at home in the dark. Found at a depth of more than one kilometre into the Earth’s crust, the Devil’s worm demonstrates a high temperature tolerance and is thought to be able to survive in conditions of up to 41 degrees Celsius!

If you want to find out more about how to get involved in Earth Hour, visit  WWF’s Earth Hour website.

And don’t forget, Earth Hour is on Saturday 29th March at 8:30 pm local time, so join the ARKive team and millions of other people worldwide and switch off those lights!

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