Researchers create living peanut butter jellyfish

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

peanut butter jellyfish
See the brown coloring in the jellyfish from the peanut butter?

Scientists from the Children’s Aquarium in Dallas have successfully raised moon jellyfish on a steady diet of peanut butter. They didn’t expect the food source to be such a success, but 3 months into the experiment, the usually carnivorous (meat-eating) jellies are alive and thriving.

Despite their unusual brown tint, the sea creatures are in good health, so researchers plan to test a second generation of jellyfish soon.

Usually, moon jellies feed on zooplankton, fish eggs and larvae, and even small shrimp. However, aquarium breeders got the idea to feed them the creamy treat when they read about shrimp who were being fed protein. So, they decided to run an experiment on the see-through creatures.

The scientists got a hold of 250 baby moon jellyfish. First, they gave the sea creatures a diet of peanut butter-fed crustaceans. After a couple of days, the meals were switched to straight up peanut butter mixed with seawater. Besides turning a murky brown color, the ocean animals were positively healthy. Now, while the researchers aren’t planning a special PB&Jellyfish exhibit in their aquarium, they do plan to continue the experimental diet.

Images courtesy of Zelda Montoya, Barrett L. Christie, Dallas Zoo and Children’s Aquarium.