Lobed comb jellies like Bolinopsis infundibulum above vacuum up plankton with funneling lobes paired with current-making auricles, while sea walnuts Hormiphora californiensis use twin tentacles covered in sticky filaments to trawl for microscopic snacks.
But beware a bloom of Beroe! These gelatinous mouths-with-an-agenda hunt down their prey (often other comb jellies!) and swallow them whole with ciliated mouths that prevent escape!
Comb jellies have a huge impact on the available plankton when they’re around, and so prolific are these well-coiffed diners that invasions of comb jellies into new habitats can cause ecological calamity!
So the next time you stand entranced by the mesmerizing rows of diffracted-light rainbows dancing along their sides, think of how formidable these jiggly juggernauts are in their watery ways!