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The Complex Brains of Jellyfish

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Many people think jellyfish are simply floating animals that happen to deliver a painful, and sometimes deadly, sting when their tentacles accidentally brush past you. In reality, many of these marine invertebrates have complex nervous systems and some even have complex, lensed eyes. One group of jellyfish, the Cubomedusae or box jellyfish, are very venomous and can be deadly to humans. They are being studied to learn how their nervous system is elaborate enough that they can swim towards potential prey. AAAS Member Richard A. Satterlie, Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, studies these creatures. He shares these photographs from his research.