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Old Apr 18, 2008, 11:39 AM   #11
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NHL wrote:
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Theses Jelly fish got left behind by the low-tide and with the warming sun they tend to inflate up with air like sausages:
Technically, the Portugese Man-o'-war is not a Jellyfish, but a Siphonophore, a floating colony of hydroid polyps, one of which (the pneumatophore) provides the air-filled bladder that keeps the colony afloat to be driven by the wind. If you are in the water and see one, stay downwind of it, as the extended tentacles can trail behind for several feet and can entangle a swimmer. Each tentaclecarries thousands of stinging cells which contain a potent toxin intended to paralyze its prey -- a severe sting can be extremely serious to a bather, especially a small child. When they are numerous, stay out of the water -- and don'ttouch the stranded ones orany detached tentacles, as the stinging cells can stay active for a long time (the tentacles may be retracted, as in the photos, resulting in a greater concentration of stinging cells in a small section of tentacle). Nasty customers.
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Old Apr 18, 2008, 11:43 AM   #12
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Doulble post - please delete
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Old Apr 18, 2008, 1:37 PM   #13
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I just love the DOF and colors on this image!
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Old Apr 18, 2008, 7:47 PM   #14
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NHL - this is truly something different!!!

I was going to add my 2 cents worth... but first let me say I totally agree with penolta on his description and advice!

You have captured the colours of this creature very well... lovely contrast of sand and dof in the first photo too! Wow.

Being from Australia, I have seen these nasty Portuguese man o war's on several occasions (or is that "men o' war?") Yes, usually there are many of them. Very nasty creatures! (but hey, in Australia we have our share of "nasties"!)

Some extra thoughts:
1. If you want to know what to do if you see them on the beach.. be VERY careful and steer clear (I'd never go swimming in the water with these around...) OR as the wikipedia entry suggests: "Predator: The Loggerhead Turtle, which is apparently immune to Man O' War toxins, is commonly seen feeding on the Man O' War.".... so carry your pet loggerhead turtle with you.. or rather a HERD of these turtles!

2. As I believe the portuguese man o war prefers warmer (sub-tropical) water - but sometimes these have been found as far south (cooler temperate water) as Tasmania. (where I grew up)

3. NHL, I'd suggest you provide your 2 photos as gallery entries to wikipedia's entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Man_o'_War

4. There are smaller "cousins" of these creatures seen more commonly in Tasmanian, but to be honest I don't know for the life of me what their proper or latin name is. We just called them: "blue stingers" they are small (the bulb shape is about 2 or 3 cm... and they have much shorter tentacles. I have seen beaches in Tasmania coloured BLUE by an invasion (or mass suicide) of these.. especially remote western beaches of Tasmania, from the Indian ocean side. These "blue stingers" aren't nearly as dangerous / deadly (as far as I know) - I was stung by one, and it produced an itching sensation about half way between a mosquito and a biting ant.

Paul


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Old Apr 18, 2008, 10:14 PM   #15
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Woah - I learned a lot today from all the wise men... Definitely not a very hospitable beach: :sad:

-> May be one of its victim:



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Old Apr 18, 2008, 10:22 PM   #16
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Ouch! I remember these guys from my windsurfing days on Maui. Northerly winds would push them to the islands and they would wash up on the beach.

Brings back lots of memories of good times and good friends.

Thanks for posting.

Jim
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