Scientists discovered a new species of box jellyfish while exploring the brackish water of shrimp ponds at Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong.
The creature has a cube-shaped body and 24 eyes arranged in sets of six. The new species, named Tripedalia maipoensis, is genetically and physically distinct from other box jellyfish.
It is less than an inch long and has a see-through body with a whitish tinge.
The jellyfish has three tentacles extending from each corner of its body and “pedal-shaped structures” at the base of its tentacles that act like “boat paddles,” allowing it to swim faster.
Box jellyfish are among the most venomous marine animals in the world.
The scientists returned to the area three summers in a row and kept finding more of these creatures.
The discovery of Tripedalia maipoensis highlights the rich diversity of marine life in Hong Kong and even the whole of China.
The Mai Po area is relatively well-studied, making this finding even more significant.
The jellyfish is the first box jellyfish species to be discovered in Chinese waters.
Hong Kong is located on the southern edge of China and is a special administrative region of the country.
Video from Hong Kong Baptist University shows the box jellyfish pulsating as it swims.
The researchers named the animal after the Mai Po area where it was discovered.
Source Miami Herald
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