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Since jellyfish don’t have any bones, fossils of ancient jellies are challenging to find. But in 2007, a preserved jellyfish fossil was discovered in Utah that’s thought to be over 505 million years old. Dinosaurs lived from about 245 million to 66 million years ago, meaning jellyfish pre-date them by at least 250 million years.
These ancient creatures have some pretty amazing talents. For example, They can clone themselves. If a jellyfish is cut in two, the pieces of the jellyfish can regenerate and create two new organisms. Similarly, if a jellyfish is injured, it may clone itself and potentially produce hundreds of offspring.
And if cloning itself wasn't enough.... There is one species Turritopsis dohrnii which is thought to be immortal, since it can transform back into a colony of polyps (individual organisms). As the jelly ages, it eventually settles onto the sea floor and becomes polyps. The polyps then spawn new, genetically identical jellyfish.
If a Turritopsis dohrnii gets physically harmed or starts to starve, it can transform back into a polyp at will – then in turn produce new, genetically identical jellyfish.
What an incredible creature!
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