Alien Invaders in Texas: Pacific Jellyfish Shake Up Gulf Ecosystem
As if Texas' wildlife wasn't exciting enough, we now have the pleasure of hosting an alien visitor.
Big shout out to the Australian spotted jellyfish, who's swapped the Pacific's balmy waters for the Gulf of Mexico.
However, the jelly guest's bad table manners leave much to be desired – it's been binging on all the available zooplankton, leaving other local marine animals staring at empty plates and starving.
This polka-dotted Aussie isn't as harmful as it might seem. It's large, it forms intimidating mobs, but it’s as harmless to humans as a beach ball.
How did these jellies manage their seagoing journey, you ask? Simple – by clinging to ship hulls like barnacles.
These guys are committed to the travel lifestyle, spending five out of their seven-year lifespan simply latching onto whatever ship floats their way.
Once in their adult stage, they go into feast mode, filtering out nearly 1,800 feet of water daily, gobbling up plankton like it’s going out of style. They're turning the Gulf into a real jellyfish problem.
Stumble across one of these spotted pests? Not much you can do.
So keep your eyes peeled for the latest Texas animal invader, the disruptive, but disarmingly squishy, Australian spotted jellyfish.
You've got to admire their tenacity, if not their table manners.
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