Upside-down jellyfish is star attraction at Deep display

AN UPSIDE-DOWN jellyfish is the jewel in the crown of a new display at The Deep attraction.

Cassiopea spends its life with its bell – or head – resting on the bottom of the ocean.

The Deep's latest animal to go on display is one of half-a-dozen jellyfish species, which are captive-bred at the visitor attraction on the banks of the River Humber.

A jellyfish aquarist Tom Rowe, said: "The upside-down jellyfish is one of the most curious of jellies. It gets its name from living with its bell resting on the bottom of the ocean.

"It has frilly tentacles which it uses to reach up into the water column and capture plankton which it feeds on.

"Their tentacles also absorb light for photosynthetic algae which lives inside its body."

The creatures, which are distantly related to soft corals and anemones, take about six to eight months to develop and live for about a year. They have a mild sting, which is akin to one caused by a nettle, and are found in the wild in coral lagoons and mangroves in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.

Mr Rowe added: "They are really delicate animals. If you don't get the conditions and feeding right, they don't really develop at all."

The upside-down jellyfish tank is part of the aquarium's new research and conservation display, which showcases the work that goes on behind the scenes to the public, including work in the Red Sea, with manta rays and sea cucumbers.

Staff at The Deep have also been successful in culturing jellyfish and supplies to other aquaria throughout Europe.