Sunday Sketch: The sum of its parts

Did you know: Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis) are not a type of jellyfish? They are a siphonophore, which is an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together. The man-of-war is made up of 4 polyps/organisms (think corals or sea anenomes): 1) a gas-filled bladder with a little โ€œsailโ€ that sits on the ocean surface for movement, 2) the tentacles that can extend up to 165ft (about the width of a football field) with venom and muscles for killing prey and bringing it up to 3) gastrozooids, or the digestive organisms, and finally 4) some reproductive organs. Man-of-war venom is said to be as toxic as a cobras, and while that is effective for killing prey, it is not deadly to humans (but boy howdy does it hurt to get stung!!).

Sketch and fact by Karli Chudeau

Source:

Lane, C. E. (1960). The Portuguese man-of-war. Scientific American202(3), 158-171.

[Edited by Adrian Perez]

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