02 May, 2010

Challenge #12: Cnidaria Versus Cephalopoda (Fala)

Just barely squeaking in on time!


Behold the Blue-Ringed Octopus and the Box Jellyfish. Both of them are included on the list of the top ten most venomous creatures on Earth. The box jelly tops the list with a sting which can kill a person in under four minutes. The tentacles of the box jelly are typically about six feet long and can actually shoot tiny, poisonous barbs on contact. Additionally, whilst most poisonous animals' toxins are specialised (targetting the nervous system, the heart, eating flesh, et cetera), this Cnidarian's venom is a triple threat; Its sting is neurotoxic, cardiotoxic and dermatonacrotic (in other words, all of the above). Additionally, they are unique among jellyfish, being in the possession of true eyes, complete with lenses, retinae and pupils. Though they, like all jellyfish, lack a brain, it has been proven that they can, in fact, process colour, light and movement and they actively pursue prey, rather than simply drifting about and waiting for something to brush up against them. Box jellies are native to Australia and have killed nearly 100 people in the past century.

As poisonous as the above Octopus is (also Australian and having claimed 60-some victims), Jellyboy's got him beat. And judging by the look on Blue's face up there, he knows it ^_^

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