The Portuguese Man-of-War: A Dangerous Ocean Creature | Continental Online Continental online

The Portuguese Man-of-War: A Dangerous Ocean Creature

Admin Continental Online | 6:50 AM | 0 comments

The Portuguese Man O' War is a jellyfish-like marine creature. Its venomous tentacles can deliver a powerful sting.


Despite its outward appearance, the Man o' War is not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, which differs from jellyfish in that it is not actually a single creature, but a colonial organism made up of many minute individuals called zooids. Each of these zooids is highly specialized, and, although structurally similar to other solitary animals, they are attached to one another and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival.




The tentacles are the man-of-war's second organism. These long, thin tendrils can extend 165 feet (50 meters) in length below the surface, although 30 feet (10 meters) is more the average. They are covered in venom-filled nematocysts used to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. For humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly.





The stinging, venom-filled in the tentacles of the Portuguese man o' war can paralyze small fish and other prey. Detached tentacles and dead specimens (including those that wash up on shore) can sting just as painfully as the live creature in the water and may remain potent for hours or even days after the death of the creature or the detachment of the tentacle.

Stings usually cause severe pain to humans, leaving whip-like, red welts on the skin that normally last 2 or 3 days after the initial sting, though the pain should subside after about an hour.


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