Home > News > Regional
Thursday February 6, 2014 MYT 10:43:00 AM
Thursday February 6, 2014 MYT 10:48:41 AM
An undated handout photo received on February 6, 2014 shows a 1.5-metre (4ft 11ins) new species of giant jellyfish that washed up on a beach near Hobart near Tasmania. -AFP/Josie Lim
SYDNEY: Scientists were Thursday working to classify a new species of giant jellyfish that washed up on an Australian beach, describing it as a "whopper" that took their breath away.
The 1.5-metre (4 foot 11 inch) specimen was found by a family in the southern state of Tasmania, who contacted a local marine biologist.
Lisa Gershwin, a scientist with the government's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), said the type of jellyfish had been seen in the past, but never one so big and not one that became beached.
"We know about this specimen but it hasn't been classified yet, it hasn't been named," she told AFP, adding that there had been a massive jellyfish bloom in Tasmanian waters over the past month.
She said the new species was related to the lion's mane jellyfish, the largest known species of the marine animal in the world.
"It is so big it took our breath away," added Gershwin, who has been working with jellyfish for 20 years.
"It's a whopper of an animal but it's not life-threatening, although it does sting."
CSIRO scientists now have enough pictures and samples to begin a proper analysis to classify and name the creature. Despite this, much remains unknown, including how it eats and breeds, and its habitat.
"It's so big but we know nothing about it," said Gershwin. "It highlights again how much we still have to learn about the ocean."
The jellyfish was found by the Lim family on a beach south of the Tasmanian capital Hobart with mother Josie saying "it blew our minds away".
"It's not really jellyfish territory here and all we could do was stand back and admire it," she told AFP. -AFP
Tags / Keywords:
giant jellyfish, australia
‘Little Apple’ a massive hit
Pakistan's Malala receives US Liberty Medal
'Goodfellas' actor sues 'The Simpsons' for $250 mn
China to send orbiter to moon and back
Australian convicted in child sex sting using virtual girl
Aussies hopeful of support for Antartica sanctuary
Youngsters set for a good time at Goldhill Club’s training camp in Port Dickson
What's cooking: Apple CEO discusses iCloud security with top Chinese official
Born with a three-chambered heart, a young man learns to make the most of each day
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)