Nature Blog Network

Monday, July 2, 2007

Actually, Jelly Burgers Don't Sound Too Bad

Those cnidocysts add a little tang to the tongue, kind of like a hot sauce! Jennifer at Shifting Baselines brings us the burger d'Jour, or the reality of the United States' current consumption of seafood. If things go as projected, all that will be left are Jellies! Is that so bad? The japanese eat them, but jellies aren't very nutritious. Leatherback sea turtles, a jelly specialist, need to consume a plethora of jellies to maintain expensive physiological processes like growth, metabolism and endothermy.

Another ENORMOUS problem is the use of the word jellyfish. Not only is this wrong on so many levels, it connotates a paraphyletic meaning if you will. Fish are the last common ancestors of the Amniotes (including humans), all of which contain backbones. Clearly this isn't the case. Morphological evidence suggests that jellies, though sometimes with a rigid hydrostatic system, rock-hard carbonate skeleton, sand grain and mucus tubes, or just plain ole incorporating sediment right into the body wall, do not contain contain a backbone, nor a notocord, nor pharyngeal gill slits, or dorsal-hollow nerve cord. Molecular and morphological evidence (see trees posted at Evolgen) also places the Jellies as a more or less basal group in the animal phylogeny and well separated from fish.

Next: Sea Stars aren't fish either! It is the stated mission of The Other 95% to strike from common usage the terms "Jellyfish" and "Starfish".


  1. Before you get too hasty with this language campaign, you should try angling for the little silverfish that live behind the toilet in the bathroom (at least I have them). On ultralight tackle they put up a fight worthy of the noblest tarpon. I'm for a "big tent" version of fish and fishing.

  2. Silverfish are arthropods and hence not fish either. Perhaps they should be called Silverbait?

    I never thought of using them for fishing. I wonder if earwigs make good bait, we had a nest on our porch last year.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.