The life cycle of a jellyfish game online for homeschool and classrooms. Biology lesson for students from 2nd to 7th grades.
The life cycle of a jellyfish begins with the planula larva. After the planula has completed its sexual development, it transforms into a polyp, which is a stalk-like structure with an opening at its top and four arms. A vertical tube and mouth surround the medusa's entrance, and after five weeks, it matures into a nearly transparent body, which is commonly referred to as a jellyfish.
Jellies reproduce sexually, but they do not usually mate with other jellyfish. Usually, a jellyfish will produce either a male or a female clone. Some species of jellies are hermaphroditic, producing both male and female clones. This reproductive strategy is a survival strategy. Despite this life cycle, a jellyfish does not always reach sexual maturity.
Most species of jellyfish have discrete sexes and will produce either a male or female clone. However, in some cases, jellies are hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs) and reproduce through this method. But this form of reproduction is rare and is a good evolutionary strategy for jellyfish.
During the third stage of the life cycle, a newly-budded segment of a polyp becomes a free-living organism, known as an ephyra. This is the precursor of the adult jelly. The ephyra is just a few millimeters in diameter and feeds by swimming away. Its lobes are still undeveloped, so it relies on its undeveloped bell to push food towards its mouth.
Asexual reproduction is a normal process in jellyfish, but the females are more vulnerable to predators than males. The medusa stage is also less attractive to predators, but observing a medusa in the aquarium is an excellent experience. It is also a great way to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
Note that the life cycle of jellyfish is very complex because species undergo both asexual and sexual development. During the first stage, the male produces gametes. The female, or medusa, releases gametes, which then develop into a female. During the second stage, the males give birth to a female. These two species do not have the same sex. So the life cycle of a jellyfish is not the same all the time.
The diagram provided in this page is an interactive online game on the life cycle of a jellyfish. Students can use it both at home and in the classroom to review different stages of evolution of this mythical creature. Simply hit the start button and drag and drop every stage into its right place. Do the same for the spellings of these stages. You will hear an audio for the name of each stage. This game is for students studying biology in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grades.