If They (Moon Jelly Fish) Only Had A Brain

Moon Jellyfish Do Not Have A Heart, Brain Or Eyes

Moon Jelly Fish BondingWhile I have only been a parent to Moon Jellyfish for 1 week short of 2 months, I have learned so much about the boys and their individual personalities.  I have read countless articles and scientific papers which state, Moon Jellyfish do not have a heart, brain or eyes.

I have noticed quite a few interesting happenings in the boys home.  Brutus (big guy) is quite the independent bloke who generally stays to himself, though, if I check on them at night (I wake up a-lot), I will find Brutus huddled in the center of the tank with Moe and Luigi.  He is in the center, Moe is usually on the bottom and Luigi on top.  I am telling you, this is how it is most nights and occasionally in the evening before I turn off the lights.  Perhaps they are signaling to me, it is bedtime.

As soon as I get up in the morning and sometimes before I turn on the light in the tank, they definitely react to my movement in the kitchen.  Brutus will pulse to the top of the tank and the other boys disperse a little bit.  I believe they sense the vibration my movements are causing, hence they must have a brain or is it simply neurons and don’t those constitute as a brain?

My Moon Jellyfish Recognize Me, Really They Do!

I know I am not a scientist and I have been told my belief that my Moon Jellyfish recognize me is absolute insanity.  Okay, so maybe they don’t recognize me, because that would mean they have eyes and they do not, they have photosensors.  I get that, but I am telling you, they definitely respond and they most definitely react to one another.

Moon Jellyfish Kissing with a Brain Jelly MommaMoe is the baby.  He is my beloved little Moon Jellyfish who should have passed on to the other side.  But he did not, he survived, restored his entire little Jelly body and is now a strong needy little guy.  I say needy, because he has to always be touching Luigi.  Once in awhile he will go to Brutus, however, Brutus wants nothing to do with him and will just pulse away.

Let’s talk about Luigi.  Luigi was at risk as well when we went through the trauma tank.  While he was no where in the same condition as Moe, he was pretty rough.  He stayed at the bottom of the tank with Moe the entire time they were healing.

Perhaps, Luigi and Moe bonded during this time.  Rarely will you ever see these two boys apart.  The other thing with Luigi, he really has a thing about bumping his head.  He is either bumping his head on the bottom or the sides of the tank or bumping his head into Moe’s body.  I just like to think of him as my very special guy.

If Plants Have Brains, Then Jellyfish Do!

If scientist can go so far to say, plants have brains or neurons which stimulate similar senses as humans, then who is to say Jellyfish don’t?  I read an interesting article in which it states, plants have the same senses as humans.  I read an article on PRI, which focuses on exactly this. “Michael Pollan, author of such books as “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “The Botany of Desire,” wrote the New Yorker piece about the developments in plant science.

He says for the longest time, even mentioning the idea that plants could be intelligent was a quick way to being labeled “a whacko.” But no more, which might be comforting to people who have long talked to their plants or played music for them.”  I implore you to read the article, because if scientist can discover this and finally ease the minds of millions, that it is really quite normal to talk to your plants.”

Speaking to JC Again and Again…

Moon Jellyfish Friends with a Brain Jelly MommaThe other day, I was speaking to JC at Jellyfish Art about the behavior of my Moon Jellyfish boys, in fact, I have been sharing with him their individual characteristics since they came home.  JC shared with me the experience one of his other customers noticed with his Moon Jellyfish. He noted very similar behavior patterns with his crew.

I was pretty excited to learn I am not the only one.  Let’s face it, when you work from home and you spend 12 hours a day staring at them and have two camera’s nearby to photograph them, you tend to see little idiosyncrasies, that another person who passes by them casually might not notice.

I leave you with this.  Do not ever underestimate a living being.  While Moon Jellyfish might not have the brain structure that we humans have, they definitely have something going on there.

So, Do Moon Jellyfish Or Other Jellyfish Have Brains?

I don’t have the patience or rather my ADD can’t handle reading anymore scientific journals out there, but in a nut-shell, well not like us.  But something is definitely going on there.

“It is not true that jellyfish have no central nervous systems. … Instead, jellyfish have a ring nervous system, located along the margin of the bell. There is definitely a concentration of neurons in that location (although it contains relatively few neurons compared to other animals).” Read the full article here.  This article was written in 2009, almost a decade ago.  I am sure there is more updated information out there. And if there isn’t, well…someone needs to get with the program.

Snoozing Jellyfish

After writing my thoughts about Moon Jellyfish and their interesting behaviors and characteristics, I had a conversation with JC at Jellyfish Art and he told me about a 2017 study of Snoozing Jellyfish.

A 2017 study of the upside-down jellyfish, Cassiopea, found that a brain is not required to experience sleep. At night Cassiopea enters a sleep-like state where it pulses less frequently than during the day and is slow to respond to disturbances. When kept awake throughout the night, the next day the jellyfish appear to be tired—their pulsing was noticeably slower than if they had a solid night of sleep. It is the first time an animal without a brain was observed sleeping. The discovery suggests sleep among all animals is an ancient characteristic with a shared evolutionary beginning, considering the neural network of jellyfish evolved before centralized nervous systems like a brain.”

In addition to the study above which is referenced by Ocean Portal, there is an interesting article which discusses Jellyfish and Comb Jellies and is definitely worth the read.

1 Comment

  1. KC on May 16, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    As a Moon Momma myself, I agree with and believe everything you say here! (I believe everything you say anyway, you’re totally brill!) If I put two fingertips against the front of my tank, my Jelly, JayCee (spelled so as not to be confused with JC from JFA), will pulse his way over to my fingertips and stay there. When I had more Jelly babies at home (RIP Parapluie and unnamed jb’s that were done in by the evil saltwater aquarium store), when one was sick, the others would try to prop him up and push him through the water. Really.
    That having been said, I also think my plants know I love them…said by a whacko who has a 6 year old Cabbage. Cabbages are an Annual plant. They don’t live to be 6 years old…mine does… maybe because ‘I never underestimate a living being’!