Nature Niche: Dolphins and jellyfish nature’s odd couple

Nature Niche pic-1-4-12

Special to the Parade

Scarlet Colley

Scarlet Colley

Here come the jellyfish. For months, there was no sign of any jellies in our sea, and now it seems the currents are right and, as I always look forward to the arrival of one particular jelly, the cannonball or cabbage head jellyfish; I am happy that they are finally here.

This jelly is fun for me to see because our dolphins like to play with them. They are nature’s ball for dolphins. They also have another reason for playing with them. They like to dislodge the little fish that are using the jelly as habitat. There are certain little fish that actually go up inside the rims of the jelly and feel safe there. Do the dolphins eat the tiny little fish? Of course not. They are just being playful. And with the super clear water right now… wow, I can watch the dolphin play with the cabbage heads under the water too, pushing them around with their mouths.

They even will push around another jellyfish called a moon jelly. The dolphins know that the top side of the jelly does not sting. Also, most of you see the jellyfish once they are on the beach dying. To see them in the water pulsating and undulating along is so beautiful.

Almost everyone on the boat with me are in awe of these amazing creatures that are nowhere near being a fish. The water is even clear enough to see the smaller sea combs floating along like clear walnuts. And my favorite species to observe in the water alive is the Portuguese man o war, that purple bubble that you see on the beach is fascinating to see floating along on the surface with long, long tentacles hanging below to snare a fish. Dolphins don’t play with them but we do see sea turtles eating on them.

Great photo ops too.

But best of all, I am happiest to see our dolphins play, and play they do. And when they get to playing ball with a cabbage head jelly, my camera is clicking. So enjoy this photo, and you can see many more along with the many creatures of our dolphins’ world on exhibit at the Sealife Nature Center and join one of my photography safaris into the wilds of bay with just a few other photographers and nature lovers.

Being out in our nature niche taking photos is what we love to do.

For more information, visit, look for dolphinwhisper on Facebook or call (956) 299-1957.

Happy New Year.

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