Comb JellyFebruary 17, 2019
A ctenophore (pronounced teen-o-fore), or comb jelly, is a transparent jelly-like animal often spherical or bell-shaped. They swim by beating rows of tiny combs along their bodies like paddles. When sunlight (or in this case, light from a photographer’s strobe) strikes the combs, it creates diffraction patterns—flickering rainbows running down the rows. Most ctenophores are also bioluminescent, producing their own light. Ctenophores live from the surface into the ocean twilight zone. Like jellyfish, they are predators. They catch smaller animals with sticky secretions, instead of stinging cells. (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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