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A rare jellyfish that looks like a Poached egg

11-25-2010 14:22 BJT

They might look tasty but you probably wouldn't want one of these on your toast in the morning.

For these bizarre fried eggs are actually a peculiar type of jellyfish that has just been successfully born in captivity.

The jellyfish looks like a poached egg that has been dropped into a pan of water.
The creature has a very mild sting which has little effect on humans.

The photos were taken by keen photographer Torben Webber, who scrambled for his camera after hearing the unusual creatures had been born.

The odd jellyfish are found naturally in the Mediterranean, because they require a huge amount of sunlight to survive.

When captive they are incredibly difficult to breed - but staff at Basel Zoo, Switzerland, have managed to imitate their natural conditions and a new batch of tiny jellyfish have been born.

A staff member said: 'Breeding is a real challenge because they're only found in far-off ocean fisheries and transportation is so difficult.

'So we have to mimic the natural environment with special daylight lamps to illuminate the aquarium as well as making sure there are lots of meals a day.

'The young jellyfish are tiny, just a few centimetres but they take the egg shape right away - we have to keep them away from the lights at first in case they toast.'

The fried egg jellyfish, also known as medusa, produce eggs that are fertilised in sea water, which then develop into a tiny larva fixed to sea bed organisms.

They can measure up to 35cm in diameter when fully grown, and in contrast to most jellyfish they move on their own by moving the 'white' of the egg in a waving motion.

Torben took his amazing pictures on November 4 with his Nikon d3s camera.

He said: 'They're beautiful creatures - but they are very unusual looking.'

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