Recently, scientists have been interested in the jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula. How could such a simple creature attract such close attention of specialists, and even more so of geneticists? And it's all about the next discovery. A certain Italian scientist Fernando Boero (purely for his personal research) planted this species of jellyfish in an aquarium. Previously, no one was thoroughly engaged in them, probably because of their too modest size (5 mm) and absolutely nondescript appearance. For some reason, the scientist had to postpone the experiments, and he safely forgot about his pets. I remembered when the aquarium had already dried up, and the inhabitants seemed to have already died. Boero decided to clear out the aquarium of them and fill it with the next test subjects, but with his characteristic curiosity, he decided to study the now dried-up jellyfish.
What was his astonishment when it was discovered that they did not die, but became larvae. He refilled the aquarium with water. After some time, the half-dried larvae became polyps, from which new jellyfish later budded. So it turned out that the inconspicuous Turritopsis nutricula is an immortal jellyfish,who accomplishes the seemingly impossible. She independently controls her genes and can "move backward", that is, she returns to the initial stage of development and begins to live anew. In other words, the immortal jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula cannot die due to old age. She only dies if she is eaten or torn apart.
Today, scientists believe that the tiny immortal jellyfish is the only terrestrial organism that can independently rejuvenate and regenerate. Moreover, this cycle will be repeated countless times. The immortal jellyfish Turritopsis belongs to the genus Hydroid, whose representatives live in the seas of the temperate and tropical zones. This genus includes marine colonial coelenterates, namely polyps, the colonies of which consist of several hundred individuals. They are like bushes, motionless and securely attached to the substrate. Although there are loners. In the colony, the intestinal cavity of an individual polyp is connected to the common intestinal cavity passing through the entire colony. In other words, they are all united by a “common gut”, through which all food that has got is distributed.
The immortal jellyfish has a dome-shaped umbrella, along its edge is a rim of tentacles. Moreover, the number of tentacles increases with age: a newly budded jellyfish will have no more than 8 of them, and in the future the number will increase to 90 pieces. The jellyfish has two stages of development: the first is a polyp, the second is the jellyfish itself. As the last one, shecan exist from several hours to several months, and then returns to the first stage again, endlessly repeating this cycle.
The immortal jellyfish is originally from the Caribbean, but today it is already found in other geographic areas. This happened due to the fact that Turritopsis nutricula multiplied strongly. Some believe that such an increase in numbers may lead to an imbalance in the world's oceans. But Maria Miglietta (Doctor of the Institute of Tropical Research) is sure that there is no need to worry about filling all the reservoirs of this species with hydroids. Turritopsis nutricula has too many predatory enemies that are engaged in the extermination of their offspring. Although, this is probably not enough, since the number of immortal jellyfish is only increasing every year.