The hydromedusa is such a beautiful creature! I saw this picture the other day in Aududon Magazine. There's an article about iceburgs and the creatures that live under them. This is one of them. Their life expectancy is only a few days and they are bioluminescent. They have two main components to their life cycle. They have a benthic (lives on the sea floor) phase that is a polyp which is kind of like a sea anemone. That phase produces the hydromedusae that looks like a jellyfish. The hydromedusae can bud asexually but will also produce eggs and sperm that result in the polyp.
Another favorite ocean critter of mine is the leafy sea dragon. I first saw one at the aquarium in Atlanta. Oh how I miss Atlanta!
Some facts about the leafy sea dragon:
Yes, it is related to the seahorse.
- Their leaf-like protusions are not weapons, but rather serve as a camouflage from predators as well as to disguise themselves from possible snacks.
- Females deposit eggs on the tail of the male where they grow to maturity. It takes a total of nine weeks for the eggs to begin to hatch, depending on water conditions. The eggs turn a ripe purple or orange over this period. After this period, the male pumps its tail until the infants emerge, a process which takes place over 24-48 hours. The male aids in the babies hatching by shaking his tail, and rubbing it against the seaweed and rocks. (I stole this from wiki)
- They have become endangered through pollution and industrial runoff as well as collection by fascinated divers who are entranced by their unique appearance. In response to these dangers they have been officially protected by the Australian government. (stole this too)
P.S. "Science is interesting...and if you don't think so, you can fuck off." - Richard Dawkins