Glenn Franco Simmons | Crown Jellies As Art
The Monterey Bay Aquarium was the first to grow Crown Jellies (Medusa coronada).

As the aquarium notes on its display, "When it comes to looks, few jellies are as far out as this one.

"It wears a kaleidoscope of colors, with its bright purple bell above and lacy mouth-arms beneath spread out like a thick shag carpet.

"With fleshy fingers on top of its bell and fine filaments trailing, this jelly makes for a surreal sight."

Its range is Indo-Pacific.

When I looked it up on the aquarium's Web site, it said "not on exhibit" at this time, so check with the aquarium if you would like to plan a visit when (or if) they will be back on exhibit.

The story of the Crown Jelly exhibit is a rather amazing one and illustrates the vital role of the aquarium.

"The crown jelly is unlike any jelly species here at the Aquarium—its bell is covered with spikes," the aquarium states on its Crown Jelly page. "Our exhibit is the result of a two-year husbandry effort by Senior Aquarist Wyatt Patry, and our institution is the first to successfully raise the jellies from polyps to adulthood.

"'We received the polyps from Zoo Berlin, which got them from waters off Japan,'" Wyatt says. The biggest challenge? 'You have to figure out how to keep them suspended,' he says. 'They'll stick to the sides of the display if you let them, and degrade. So we had to make a small exhibit space seem like the open ocean.'"

"Wyatt used yards of everyday bubble wrap to line the various-size holding tanks used to grow the crown jellies. The soft bubble wrap also keeps the jellies from hurting themselves when they happen to bump up against the walls. In our exhibit spaces, Wyatt created water currents, called 'gyres,' to help keep the delicate jellies in the middle of the display."

I only visited once when the display was there and we were amazed.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Animals
Subcategory:Marine Life
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Medusa coronada, Monterey Bay Aquarium, crown jellies, crown jelly