(ORDO NEWS) — Large deep-sea octopuses, discovered in 2017 in the Hawaiian region, turned out to be big fans of eating jellyfish.
Jellyfish can be a big threat to a beach holiday or fishing trip, but for most ocean dwellers, they are just food.
Although jellyfish are mostly drops of low-calorie gelatin, scientists are discovering more and more predators, from vampire squid to tuna, chasing these animals across the ocean.
Now scientists have added the giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron atlanticus to the list of “sea jelly” lovers.
Why is it important? Scientists still know very little about deep-sea food chains, because observing the inhabitants of the deep is long, expensive, and just plain hard.
And this must be done, because without due attention to the depths of the ocean, it will be very difficult for ecologists to develop programs to preserve environmental cleanliness.
Therefore, researchers were incredibly excited when they discovered three mysterious octopuses in the coastal waters of California and Hawaii, where a huge number of jellyfish live.
The tentacles and reproductive organs, which contain most of the nutrients, were missing, indicating that they had already been eaten.
And because the octopuses wrapped around the jellyfish from behind, scientists believe they could have used them to catch even more food. This trick sounds fantastic
Back on land, the scientists traveled to the Hamburg Zoological Museum in Germany to examine the stomach contents of five preserved specimens of H. atlanticus.
Their results confirmed that these 4-meter-long octopuses do indeed eat jellyfish. And because H. atlanticus is in turn eaten by large fish, blue sharks, and even sperm whales, jellyfish are an important part of the ocean’s food web.
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