Jellyfish are also known as cnidarians, and they are found in nearly every ocean in the world. While they may look harmless, most jellyfish have stinging tentacles that allow them to paralyze or even kill their prey before they pull the creature up to digest it.

Jellyfish are opportunistic predators. This means that they are likely to eat whatever they come across, and though some jellyfish species are confined to eating only small fish eggs, others can kill and eat entire fish.

When you want to figure out what different kinds of jellyfish eat, you should look at their structures. Jellyfish have round, jelly-like bodies and at the center of this body along the bottom, you will find a small hole. The tentacles feed the food up into that hole, and in the case of some jellyfish, which are transparent, the food can be seen even after it enters the jellyfish's body. No matter what the jellyfish eats, it has to be able to push the food through that small hole. In some cases, jellyfish will kill their prey and then be unable to devour it as it is too large.

When asking "What do jellyfish eat?" it is important to remember that they are carnivores. This means that they do not eat any sorts of plants or growing things. Instead, they can eat a wide range of animals. Some smaller jellyfish will only eat plankton, a term which refers to very tiny, floating sea animals, like brine shrimp. Other jellyfish, which are larger, will eat fish eggs, while others that are larger still will devour crustaceans like sea snails and crabs. The very largest jellyfish will eat small fish. Jellyfish may also be cannibalistic, meaning that they will easily eat their own kind. Once again, this is all a matter of size; if the jellyfish believes that it can push the smaller animal into its mouth, it will attempt to do so, even if the other animal is a jellyfish.

One reason why you might be asking "what do jellyfish eat" is that you might be considering keeping one as a pet. Always make sure that you get a jellyfish from a reputable aquarium store, and be aware of what your jellyfish needs to eat before you bring it home. Most of the jellyfish that may be kept as pets require a steady diet of brine shrimp in order to survive.

Baby jellyfish need to eat very small, freshly-hatched brine shrimp, but as the jellyfish gets larger, it requires larger and larger brine shrimp. By the time most pet jellyfish are adults, they require full-grown brine shrimp. As the pet jellyfish grows, feeding it gets easier as you can purchase frozen food for the jellyfish at the pet store. Two common types of food for adult pet jellyfish include shaved mysis shrimp and cyclopeeze, both of which can be purchased easily at the local pet store.

When feeding a jellyfish brine shrimp, all you need to do is to place the brine shrimp in the aquarium with the jellyfish. You'll be able to see the jellyfish stinging the brine shrimp and then drawing it towards the mouth opening at the base of its body. Brine shrimp are easy to purchase both in egg form and as adults.

Whether you want to keep jellyfish as pets or you are simply curious about these jellies of the sea, it is important to know what they eat and how they eat it.



A What Do They Eat? project.