Attention Baltimore: Are you prepared?

Published May 19, 2009

Jellies and Dinosaurs are invading Baltimore's Inner Harbor in a  Waterfront Invasion. Are you prepared? This summer the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center will have wonderful displays of two very popular prehistoric creatures, each with their own story of invasion...

Though prehistoric, Jellies are still thriving and invading oceans across the world. In fact, in 1990, eight years after the comb jellies first invaded the Black Sea, their biomases totaled about 900 million tons in the sea - that's more than 10 times the weight of the total annual fish catch from all the world's oceans.


The Leidy’s comb jelly is native to the coastal waters of the eastern United States. In the early 1980’s, these jellies were accidently introduced into the Black Sea when ships traveling from the western Atlantic released their ballast water. Lacking natural predators and finding abundant planktonic food, this invasive jelly multiplied rapidly and thrived in this new environment. By 1989 the population peaked—some areas reported over one thousand comb jellies per cubic meter of water. This invasive species has spread into the neighboring waters of the Azov, Caspian, and Mediterranean Seas, and is now beginning to invade the Baltic and the North Seas.

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