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26 November 2021

As Oceans Warm, Jellyfish Swarm

While warmer waters with lower oxygen are stressful for most animals, these conditions are hospitable to jellyfish.

While many species are facing extinction due to climate change and other ecologically destructive human activities, jellyfish are not among them.

This species emerged in the world’s oceans at least 500 million years ago and the population is continuing to thrive due to a combination of their biology and human activities: the increasing warmth of the water, leading to lower oxygen levels, is stressful for most animals but not to jellyfish; manmade structures, like docks and shipwrecks support their ‘polyp’ life stage, while their predators and competitors, also due to humans, have also reduced pressure on jellyfish and their offspring.

 

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