Even the name of this small ocean creature is interesting; try it – velella velella jellyfish. The majestic blue color of its body and sail on its back make you want to look closer and wonder – what is actually this interesting blue spot, sailing around the ocean like it has no cares in this world?
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The Velella Jellyfish is a small free-floating hydrozoan, about 5cm long. The stiff sails on their back and catches the wind and propels them over the surface of the ocean. That’s how these fish move around. Their main food are planktons. Many consider them for a jellyfish, but they’re not. Each velella velella jellyfish is, in fact, a small hydroid colony. Bet you didn’t know that.
That colony consists of many polyps that feed on ocean plankton and are connected by a canal system that enables the colony to share whatever plankton is ingested by individual polyps. Also, velella forms large schools. Check out the pictures below to bask in the glory of these majestic animals.
A common name for velella is also by-the-wind sailor and it obviously comes from the fact that they move around and their way of motion.
As they use a sail and wind to move over the surface of the ocean they are extremely vulnerable when it comes to storms.
The East Coast beaches of the USA and the west coasts of Ireland can be covered by large numbers of dead velellas after a storm. The main enemies of these sailors are also sea snails which love to feed on them.
If this short introducing got you interested in the simpatico blue sailor, find out more about its life in the video below.
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