How Long Do Jellyfish Live?

Published: 04th August 2010
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Jellyfish live an average of about a year, although they can live much longer in captivity.



Their lifecycle takes one year to complete. Juveniles are produced from polyps in the spring and adults grow throughout the summer. Towards the end of the summer male and female jellyfish mate and produce polyps, which grow and divide throughout the winter. In the spring the polyps start producing juveniles and the cycle repeats. This means that the swimming medusa life stage of jellyfish is only around for a few months during the summer. Jellyfish have delicate tissue, so they are usually damaged by the end of summer and most of them die. However, in captivity jellyfish can live much longer. Jellyfish are not susceptible to abrasive rocks, predators, or fluctuations in weather and temperature patterns like they are in the wild. It is not unusual for people to keep their pet jellyfish alive and healthy for 2 years or more if they take proper care.



In early 2009, scientists discovered a jellyfish species called Turritopsis dohmii that can reverse its life cycle and revert from an adult back to a juvenile stage. This is the only known animal with this immortal ability. The jellyfish is 1cm long and originally from the Caribbean, although it has spread all over the world.



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