New research has revealed that jellyfish movement patterns are deliberate and increases their chances of finding food
For centuries people thought graceful jellyfish were at the mercy of waves and the tide.
But new research at a Welsh university has found they move deliberately to hunt down their food. Experts at Swansea University attached a total of 72 tiny "data-logger" recording tags to the bodies of giant barrel jellyfish in Carmarthen Bay.
Examination of the data-loggers, which tracked jellyfish over hundreds of miles, has found their movements up and down in the sea are deliberate and probably intended to maximise the chances of finding food.
Dr Victoria Hobson of Swansea University, who carried out and organised the fieldwork, co-authored the research report.
She said: "Everyone can recognise a jellyfish, but we don't know very much about how they spend their time. Now we have discovered they are actually quite proactive - they move independently and choose where they go.
"The discovery of these complex and deliberate movement patterns adds significantly to our understanding of jellyfish behaviour."
- Wednesday 21 March 2012 00.00 GMT
- Wednesday 21 March 2012 12.18 GMT
- College of Science