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Misunderstood!

Panama Bay Hydromedusae:
small, elegant, and misunderstood

April 12, 2023

We hope to identify the different species of hydromedusae and their relationship with seasonal upwelling in the coastal waters of the Bay of Panama.

Hydromedusae are small jellyfish members of the Phylum Cnidaria that generally range from less than 1 mm to several centimeters in size and have a transparent or lightly pigmented body. These jellyfish are part of what is generally known as gelatinous zooplankton where they play a role as pelagic predators and influence food webs in marine ecosystems that include fishery species. Due to their small size, phenotypic plasticity and morphological differences throughout their life cycle, there are very few studies on their distribution, phylogeny, and ecological functions, especially in tropical areas. This project hopes to identify the different species of hydromedusae and their relationship with seasonal upwelling in the coastal waters of the Bay of Panama.

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