55.4 MB (8.4 MB compressed)
3562 x 5434 pixels
30.2 x 46.0 cm ⏐ 11.9 x 18.1 in (300dpi)
DR NEIL OVERY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR NEIL OVERY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis) washed up on a beach. Although this organism resembles a jelly-fish, it is in fact a siphonophore - a colony of minute specialised individuals. Each individual has a specific function such as making up the dome like bubble at the top or the stinging tentacles below, among other roles. Also known as a bluebottle, this organism can 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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