Portuguese man-of-war

Portuguese man-of-war

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Credit: GEORGETTE DOUWMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia utriculus) washed up on a beach. Also known as a bluebottle, this organism is a floating hydrozoan. It consists of a colony of four types of polyps with different functions. This polyp is the gas-filled float. It also has its tentacles trailing behind it (not seen) that inflict a painful sting. Although rare, in severe human cases the victim may suffer cardiovascular and respiratory collapse. Photographed in South Africa.

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Keywords: 1, animal, beach, beached, biological, biology, bluebottle, coelenterate, colony, fauna, float, hydrozoan, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine biology, nature, one, onshore, physalia utriculus, poisonous, polyps, portuguese man-of-war, sand, sandy, shore, single, south africa, sting, stinging, tentacle, toxic, washed-up, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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