Portuguese man-of-war

Portuguese man-of-war

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Credit: PETER SCOONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis) at the water's surface. This organism is a colony composed of many specialised polyps, groups of which form its structures. These include the gas- filled float and the long tentacles, as well as the reproductive cells and the many stomachs (neither seen). The Portuguese man-of-war cannot swim actively. It is usually found in warm, tropical waters, but the wind may carry it long distances, and it is often seen in colder regions. It catches young fish, shrimps and other small animals in its stinging tentacles. These are then carried to one of the stomachs for digestion. Photographed in the Bahamas.

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Keywords: animal, animals, bahamas, coelenterate, coelenterates, colonial, colony, cooperating, cooperation, float, floating, hydra, hydrozoa, hydrozoan, invertebrate, invertebrates, jelly, jellyfish, man-of-war, marine, nature, ocean, physalia physalis, poison, poisonous, polyp, polyps, portuguese man of war, sea, social, sting, stinging, surface, tentacle, tentacles, toxic, toxin, tropical, tropics, water, wildlife, zoology

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