Ctenophores more commonly known as 'Sea Gooseberry' (Pleurobrachia pileus) were in abundance on the beach at Cherry Hill yesterday. Ctenophora is an old phylum of invertebrate organisms and fossils have been found that are over 525 million years old. They are not jellyfish and do not sting. Voracious predators in the ocean environment they can eat 10 times their weight daily on a diet of all life stages of tiny crustaceans such as the beautiful shrimp-like Calanus finmarchinus which is abundant in our Atlantic ocean. Many Ctenophores, including Pleurobrachia pileus exhibit bioluminescence at night in the water when disturbed.
|Calanus finmarchinus From: http://arthropoda.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/calanus-finmarchicus/|
|Sea Gooseberries - Pleurobrachia pileus|