|Cassiopeia in its usual upside-down position|
Cassiopeia, better known as the "upside-down jellyfish" is a fascinating species of jellyfish commonly found in waters off the coast of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. It is actually a genus that includes several different species, but their behavior is always the same. The position they are found in is laying on the bottom with bell to the sand and tentacles facing upward. This is because they are providing the tiny algae (zooxanthellae) in their tentacles with sunlight so that they can photosynthesize. This is not the only food source for the jellyfish, however it does provide a significant portion of the jelly's nutritional needs. They also capture plankton using their stinging cells (nematocysts) as is usually expected of a jellyfish.
|This jelly has a healthy crop of algae|