Deep-sea octopus devouring jellyfish

Large deep-sea octopus, found in the Hawaii area, were great amateurs to feast on jellyfish.

Jellyfish can be a big threat to beach recreation or fishing, but for most of the inhabitants of the ocean they are just food. Although jellyfish are mostly drops of low-calorie gelatin, scientists are discovering more and more predators – from squid vampires to tuna, chasing the ocean for these animals. Now scientists have added to the list of fans of “sea jelly” giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron atlanticus.

Why is it important? Scientists still know very little about deep-water food chains, since it is long, expensive and simply difficult to observe the inhabitants of the depths. And it is necessary to do this, because without proper attention to the depths of the ocean, it will be very difficult for ecologists to develop programs to preserve ecological purity. Therefore, the researchers were incredibly excited when they discovered three mysterious octopuses in the coastal waters of California and Hawaii, where a lot of jellyfish live. Tentacles and reproductive organs, which contain most of the nutrients, were absent, indicating that they had already been eaten. And because the octopus clasped the jellyfish behind, scientists believe that they could use them to catch more food. This trick sounds like something fantastic, but this strategy is used by at least two other types of octopus.

Back on land, the scientists went to the Hamburg Zoological Museum in Germany to study the contents of the stomachs of five surviving specimens of H. atlanticus. Their results confirmed that these 4-meter octopuses do eat jellyfish. And since H. atlanticus, in turn, eats large fish, blue sharks and even sperm whales, jellyfish is an important part of the ocean food network.

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