JAN 04, 2018 07:13 AM PST

Camera Footage Captures Norway Lobsters Swarming An Unsuspecting Food Source

Researchers have long thought that jellyfish blooms imposed negative impacts on the environment and surrounding marine wildlife, but a new study conducted by researchers from Heriot-Watt University suggests the opposite and has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The curious researchers baited waterproof cameras with helmet jellyfish carcasses and then dipped them 250 meters below the Sognefjorden in Western Norway. While they anticipated witnessing a few small critters visit the bait for a bite here and there, they instead saw something entirely unexpected.

A Norway Lobster begins snacking on a helmet jellyfish carcass.

Image Credit: Heriot-Watt University

In seemingly no time at all, several Norway lobsters came rushing to the scene and scarfed down most of the bait. The researchers say that this unexpected behavior suggests that the Norway Lobsters might have a taste for jellyfish, and it also hints that jellyfish blooms could potentially serve as vital food sources for various forms of marine wildlife.

"We had no idea that Norway Lobster, which is worth £78 million to Scotland alone, fed on the jellyfish carrion that sinks to the depths, so it was very exciting to capture this on camera," said Dr. Andrew Sweetman, a co-author of the study.

"The Norway lobsters' feasting was fast and furious. In both deployments, they located the jellyfish in under 25 minutes, scared the other scavengers away almost immediately and consumed over 50 percent of the carcass."

Related: NOAA captures incredible jellyfish footage in the Mariana Trench

It’s a rather significant finding considering that local commercial fisheries often harvest the Norway Lobster for the food market. On the other hand, the researchers still wanted to dig deeper into the situation; and so they did.

One of the questions they had was just how nutritious one of these jellyfish carcasses actually was to a Norway Lobster. In their research, they found that these critters could score approximately three months’ worth of energy from a single jellyfish meal.

"Jellyfish have historically been considered a 'dead end' in the marine food chain, and it was only in 2012 that we discovered that anything was using it as a food source," Sweetman continued.

"To discover that it's a potentially huge food source for one of the Atlantic and North Sea's most commercially important catches is really interesting, and raises questions about how jellyfish could contribute to sustainable commercial fishing."

Related: Do jellyfish actually sleep?

These fascinating findings raise additional questions concerning the jellyfish and the Norway Lobsters themselves. The curiosity will likely fuel further scientific research in the future, but only time will tell.

Source: Heriot-Watt University

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 28, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 28, 2018
African savannas are emitting three times the CO2 than thought
The Miombo woodlands extend over 2.5 million square kilometers across Africa, passing through Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. This ecosystem provi...
OCT 03, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 03, 2018
Urban Blue Tits Lay Larger Eggs Than Their Forest-Dwelling Counterparts
Curious researchers from the University of Lodz wanted to know if there were any substantial differences between eggs laid by city-dwelling blue tits and t...
OCT 16, 2018
Drug Discovery
OCT 16, 2018
Anti-Venomous Plant Compound
According to a study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, researchers at the Institute Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil, have discovered a flav...
OCT 25, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
OCT 25, 2018
So Why Does Weed Even Have THC?
If you have been following the science on marijuana, you are probably acquainted with the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol      ...
NOV 14, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 14, 2018
Here's What Happens When a Fly Lands on Your Food
If you’re like me, then you probably hate it when flies land on your food. But why is it such a big deal anyway? When flies land on your food, it&rsq...
NOV 15, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 15, 2018
How Technology can Help Feed the World
As the world's population grows, plant scientists know that the race is on to develop technologies that will help feed everyone....
Loading Comments...