Ctenophores have been in the news a few times in the last year or so, because they’re fascinating critters. We’re still a little uncertain about where they fit on the tree of life because they went and invented their own neural net, and there’s some suspicion that we’ll never really know and that lateral gene transfer might have blurred the issue even more.
The Beroes are the ones that people generally think of as ‘hungry’, because…well, look.
There’s a rarer sort of comb jelly though, and they’re a little weirder. They’re pretty little things that just sit on corals and sponges and such and reach out with feeding tentacles. The consensus was generally that they just grabbed little things, like plankton and such.
We were wrong.
From Blennywatcher: On some of the starfish riding types…“The starfish, about a half dozen, travel rapidly around the bottom in bursts that last about 15 minutes and during those times, I see the ctenophores snag two crabs, another fish and yank a poor tube worm right out of its tube.”
Nature, you are awesome. Scary, and awesome.