Saturday, 18 April 2009


I've just come back from Mayaro, where I have been stung by a rather rude Portuguese man-o-war that has temporarily ruined my leg.

"Anyone unfamiliar with the biology of the venomous Portuguese man-of-war would likely mistake it for a jellyfish. Not only is it not a jellyfish, it's not even an "it," but a "they." The Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together." says National Geographic Kids. I discovered this when I captured a live man-o-war and placed it in a bucket of sea water. The man-o-war put it's tentacles down, felt the bottom of the bucket, pulled them up, flexed it's sail to let the wind catch it and dropped it's tentacles again to test the depth of the water. This would mean that the man-o-war was showing intelligence and as a siphonophore, without a brain should not be able to do this. I also wonder how the many cells are communicating with each other. A short while later, there was nothing in the bucket. The man-o-war seemed to have dissolved and changed into purple goop! it seems that under stress the man-o-war disintegrates.

Check out this cool video from National Geographic .

1 comment:

witchypoo said...

Wow, Chas! That was risky, capturing a live man of war! I really learned something new from you. I thought they were jellyfish. I'm glad you have recovered from your injury.