Welcome to the captivating world of Marrus Orthocanna, a unique species challenging our understanding of life itself. In this article, we dive into the world of the Marrus Orthocanna, exploring its unique characteristics, its role in the ecosystem, and the ongoing efforts to unravel the mysteries that shroud this captivating marine marvel. Here are some facts about this sea creature.
1. It’s a group of many living species
The Marrus orthocanna shares its classification with jellyfish (Hydrozoa). Contrary to being a singular creature, it thrives as a colonial animal with numerous specialized individuals known as zooids. These zooids are genetically identical, originating from a single fertilized egg, and collaborate harmoniously, functioning as a remarkable super-organism. Other colonial species you may know are the blue button, Darth Vader jellyfish, Portuguese Man O’ War, or by-the-wind sailor.
The zooids form a cohesive unit through an elongated, slender, and hollow stalk that can extend up to 1.8 to 2 meters (6-7 feet) in length. Each zooid assumes distinct responsibilities, encompassing tasks such as movement, hunting, digestion, waste disposal, and reproduction.
At the forefront of the stem lies the pneumatophore, a buoyant structure filled with orange-colored gas serving as the colony’s mouth. Following this, the nectosome resides, hosting translucent nectophores featuring crimson, unlooped radial canals. These bell-shaped medusae are highly specialized for propelling the colony through the water. By harmoniously contracting, they facilitate movement in different directions.
The siphosome, situated behind the nectophores, contains the entire remaining assembly of zooids within the colony. These zooids exhibit a distinct species-specific arrangement, forming a repetitive pattern along both sides of the stem.
Marrus orthocanna stands amidst a group of deep-sea siphonophores that share the common name, the pelagic siphonophores.
Marrus orthocanna is a deep-sea creature that inhabits the northwest Pacific Ocean, Sea of Okhotsk, Mediterranean Sea, Bering Sea, north Atlantic Ocean, and Arctic Ocean.
This creature navigates the mid-ocean alone, where it finds solace in the icy embrace of the deep waters. It prefers to stay within the mesopelagic zone, where depths stretch from 200 to 800 meters (660 to 2600 feet), occasionally venturing even deeper to approximately 2000 meters (6600 feet). Within these profound waters, temperatures hover around 4 °C (39 °F), and sunlight hardly pierces through the veil from the surface above.
Similar to the majority of other siphonophores, Marrus orthocanna exhibits remarkable swimming abilities. Its bell-shaped structure propels it forward by expelling water when contracted. The medusa’s contractions are skillfully coordinated, enabling the creature to navigate in multiple directions, including forward, backward, and sideways.
3. Marrus orthocanna Diet
Marrus orthocanna mainly eats krill, decapods, small fish, copepods, and various other tiny crustaceans. Despite the scarcity of food in its marine habitat, this delicate gelatinous predator manages to flourish due to its effective hunting tactics and the impressive coordination of its zooid colony.
This carnivore uses its remarkable swimming agility to advance in short bursts. During its hunting trips, it employs a drapery of tentacles, akin to a “fishing” net, extending from its body stem to ensnare unsuspecting prey as they pass by.
Each polyp within the colony bears a solitary tentacle, measuring 30 to 50 cm in length, armed with potent stinging cells. With these cells injecting toxins into the unfortunate prey, the species can swiftly immobilize or eliminate it. Upon capture, other zooids in the community take charge of the digestion and assimilation process for the acquired sustenance.
Marrus orthocanna, a pelagic siphonophore colony, traces its origins back to a solitary fertilized egg, which gives life to a protozooid. Through the process of budding, this protozooid creates diverse structures within the colony, all of which are genetically identical. As the development unfolds, the protozooid undergoes a remarkable transformation, becoming thinner and elongated, with its central part eventually forming the colony’s stem, while the pneumatophore emerges at the opposite end.
Following that, a zone of expansion on the slender stem results in the creation of nectophores, and with the stem’s continuous elongation, further zooids emerge above them. A subsequent expansion zone initiates the growth of the siphosome, leading these zooids to shift downward as the stem elongates.
Certain siphonophore species display a fascinating trait wherein their polyps can transform into reproductive entities carrying either eggs or sperm. In certain cases, these remarkable creatures harbor both male and female reproductive cells, whereas in others, they exclusively manifest either male or female functionalities.
Some species exhibit the release of various polyp types, including reproductive ones, from the end of the siphonophore. As a result, eggs or sperm are dispersed into the water column, allowing for external fertilization. Nevertheless, the reproductive strategy employed by Marrus orthocanna remains shrouded in mystery, as do other crucial aspects like their lifespan.