Cyanea capillata, zoological model

Cyanea Capillata

We made three different versions of Cyanea Capillata (ø = 45 cm. and 30 cm.). One for Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Frankfurt and two for Ozeaneum in Stralsund.

Supervised by Dr. Thomas Schaarschmidt (DMM) and Ole Tendal (SNM).

This scyphozoa is the largest known species of jellyfish, and is named after its distinctive long and trailing tentacles, reminiscent of a lion's mane. Widely distributed in the Northen hemisphere from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the North Sea and Baltic Ocean. The bell diameter is often 10–20 cm, but specimens grow larger in colder waters with an average of 50 cm bell diameter, to the largest recorded specimen with a bell diameter of 2,3 meters and tentacles of 37 m. The bell of the lion's mane jellyfish is scalloped into eight lobes (lappets), each lobe containing from 70 to 150 tentacles. The tentacles of larger specimens may trail as long as 30 m or more, with the tentacles of the longest known specimen measured at 37 m in length. This unusual length – longer than a blue whale – has earned the Lion’s Mane the status of one of the longest known animals in the world. All tentacles are extremely ‘sticky’ and are covered in nemotocysts that sting. Size seems to dictate coloration: larger specimens are a vivid crimson to dark purple while smaller specimens grade to a lighter orange or tan, occasionally colorless.

Compared to the lethal Portugese Man’o’War and Sea Wasps, the sting of a Lion’s Mane will cause temporary pain and redness, but is not lethally dangerous.