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"City of Gonads" Jellyfish Discovered

Discussion in 'the void' started by muverick, May 7, 2010.

  1. muverick

    muverick SickBubbleGum

    I would've just put this in the animal thread but I couldn't resist seeing this title in the latest threads list for a while :)

    "City of Gonads" Jellyfish Discovered
    The new species, C. medeopolis, keeps the family jewels on display.

    Sporting a reproductive "skyline," a new species of jellyfish is like nothing else known under the sea, a new study says.

    Shaped like flying saucers, both males and females of the new jellyfish have gonads on the outsides of their bodies, unlike any of the approximately 3,000 other jellyfish species known to science*.

    Gonads are the reproductive glands that produce sperm in males and eggs in females.

    Arranged in a "crater" at the center of the jellyfish's top side, the gonads, upon close inspection, resemble "skyscrapers in a downtown business district," said Lisa-Ann Gershwin, curator of zoology at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, Australia.

    Accordingly, Gershwin gave the jellyfish the species name "medeopolis," Latin for "city of gonads."

    "It's just so completely different from anything we've ever seen before," Gershwin said—in fact, the jellyfish has forced the creation of a whole new family and genus, Csiromedusidae and Csiromedusa, respectively.

    Both names honor the Australian government's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), which assisted the scientists with their research.

    "City of Gonads" Stumps Scientist

    Gershwin and colleagues discovered the city-of-gonads jellyfish eight years ago in a part-seawater river in the city of Hobart on the Australian island of Tasmania. It took until now, though, for the scientists to verify that Csiromedusa medeopolis represents a new family.

    Harmless to humans, the new jellyfish species measures just 1.5 to 2 millimeters (0.06 to 0.08 inch) across—"not the smallest ever known, but it would be pretty close," Gershwin said.

    About 90 percent of jellyfish species are smaller than an inch (2.5 centimeters), but fewer than 0.5 percent of jellyfish are measured in millimeters.

    Making the Csiromedusa medeopolis discovery was "like a day at Disneyland for a scientist," said Gershwin, who's named more than 160 new jellyfish species, including a "rainbow glow" jelly (picture).

    Despite all that experience, she's at a loss to explain what good external gonads would be for a jellyfish.

    "I've thought about this for so long—I have no idea," Gershwin said. "There may be some functional reason, but I can't see what it is."
    "City of Gonads" Jellyfish Discovered
  2. Abscess

    Abscess sth witchy

    i've got some buttons that look like that.

    i wish i was a marine biologist. god, i made so many mistakes with my education.
  3. Insomnia

    Insomnia Part-time narcoleptic

    This girl in my class at school was always saying how she wanted to be a marine biologist, on and on and on, and I always used to think "Yeah, like you'll actually end up doing that". Now aged 25 she works for the UN, living in the Maldives managing some marine biology project and I'm eating my words. And seething with jealousy.
  4. Abscess

    Abscess sth witchy

    i hate her.
  5. onewaynotgrrl

    onewaynotgrrl Rhapsody

    I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. Turned out I wasn't good enough in Biology to qualify for this at Uni. Plus needed OP 4 or something and I got a 13 because I didn't try and I didn't hand in many assignments... I would do the same thing over, so I really cannot complain. To be honest, I really liked having guitar lessons during all the other boring classes and sitting in the toilets to get out of Maths, PE, Religious Education etc.

    How jealous ARE you girls of people who do this for a living? And really. There isn't much in Launceston, so don't be jealous of these scientists...
  6. muverick

    muverick SickBubbleGum

    I get to study ornamental fish on my course next year... not quite a marine biologist but there's water and fish :D
  7. sunday green

    sunday green carpe noctem

    my housemate is a marine biologist

    but he specialises in stuff that lives on seaweed so it's not that exciting

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