Did You Know?
- The size of an individual Sea Salp is approximately 10 cm (4 inches) long
- The length of a chain of Sea Salps can be upwards of 4.5 meters (15 feet) long
- Throughout their lifecycle, the Sea Salp is known to alternate between the solitary free-swimmer and the congregated chains
These unique, gelatinous sea creatures are found in equatorial, temperate and even cold oceans. Yeah, they are pretty much found in every ocean on the planet. Believe it or not, these mysterious creatures have been known to be more populous than the ever-abundant Krill in certain seas. While the Sea Salp slightly resembles a Jellyfish, they are actually more closely related to vertebrates (animals with a backbone…like us!). In fact, some Scientists believe that the primitive nervous system of this sea creature is one of the first of its kind and eventually evolved into the complex nervous system our bodies have. Is it tough to believe that parts of our body evolved from Jello?
The long chain of Sea Salps have a pretty easy life. Well, at least when it comes to finding food. You see, these creatures imply feed on small particles in the water column and since there is an abundance of ocean particles they never need to look for food. This chain of Jello strains out any particles from the water that passes through their body and constantly moves this food to the stomach of each individual Sea Salp (think of it as a little particle eating assembly line). The best thing about this feeding strategy is the Sea Salp never gets tired (the constant supply of food leaves them with an unlimited supply of energy), which allows them to make daily migrations from the surface (night time feeding) to deep depths of the ocean (day time feeding).
I think to get a better appreciation for the complexity and uniqueness of the Sea Salp, we all need to watch the great video produced by the Discovery Channel. Just click the play button below and get ready to be impressed by a small ocean organism.