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Red sea urchins lining the seafloor can “see”….

Sea urchins may use the entire surfaces of their bodies—from the ends of their “feet” to the tips of their spines—as huge eyes.

Scientists had already known the marine invertebrates react to light without any obvious eye-like structures—raising the question of how the animals see.

Previous genetic analysis of the California purple sea urchin had revealed that the animals possess a large number of genes linked with the development of the retina—the light-sensitive tissue lining the inner eyeball in people and other vertebrates.

This and other research suggested that sea urchin might rely on light-receptor cells randomly scattered across their skin, which collectively function like retinas.

Scientists had theorized the animals’ spines simulate the light-blocking pigmented cells found in most animals’ eyes. Because light-receptor cells in the retina can soak up light from every direction, pigmented cells work to block light from the back and the sides so animals can “see” what’s in front of them.

Now, however, the scientists have found two distinct groups of bristly, light-receptor cells concentrated at the bases and tips of the purple sea urchin’s 1,400-plus tube feet. These long, suction-tipped tubes, located on the undersides of sea urchin bodies, help the organisms move.

The team suspects that sea urchins use their tube feet as retinas and the rest of their bodies to shield against the extra incoming light, said researcher Maria Ina Arnone, a developmental biologist at Anton Dohrn Zoological Station in Naples, Italy.

Prior studies did find the number and placement of spines on a sea urchin could affect how sharp its vision might be, and this new find “might well be part of the picture,” Arnone added.

SeaUrchin-kit

Ocean Care Solutions Sea Urchin first aid kit..don’t get stung without it!!

Golden Stingray commonly found in the Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea…

The most common sting ray found in the Eastern Atlantic (North Sea, Baltic to Mauritania) as well as the Mediterranean and Black Sea is the Pastinaca or Golden Stingray. This ray has a rhomboid shaped disc with straight anterior margin and mildly convex posterior margin with a pointed snout and a small protrusion. Generally skittish about human intrusion but has proven tolerant while feeding. This ray is dangerous to swimmers and salt water sports fishermen to poisonous barbed spine.  Don’t forget the shuffle but if you do…

Stingray-kit

Stingray first aid kits available on line or at your favorite retail beach/dive shop…don’t get stung without it!!

 

 

How do Jellyfish sting??

The science of cnidocytes and nematocysts

Sea jellies don’t sting through electricity or by touch. A sea jelly sting through a special type of cell called a Cnidocyte, there are three types of cnidocytes currently known. Spirocysts which entangle their prey, Ptychocysts which build tubes for tube anemones and the most well known Nematocysts. Nematocysts consist of a toxic barb which is coiled on a thread inside the cindocyte, when triggered the barb is ejected almost instantly taking only 700 nanoseconds to fire and firing with a force of five million g’s. A cindoctye can only fire once, and must be replaced when fired a process that could take 2 days.

Sea jellies sting their prey using nematocysts, also called cnidocysts, stinging structures located in specialized cells called cnidocytes, which are characteristic of all Cnidaria. Contact with a jellyfish tentacle can trigger millions of nematocysts to pierce the skin and inject venom, yet only some species’ venom cause an adverse reaction in humans. When a nematocyst is triggered by contact by predator or prey, pressure builds up rapidly inside it up to 2,000 pounds per square inch (14,000 kPa) until it bursts. A lance inside the nematocyst pierces the victim’s skin, and poison flows through into the victim. Touching or being touched by a jellyfish can be very uncomfortable, sometimes requiring medical assistance; sting effects range from no effect to extreme pain to death. Even beached and dying jellyfish can still sting when touched.

Scyphozoan jellyfish stings range from a twinge to tingling to agony. Most jellyfish stings are not deadly, but stings of some species of the class Cubozoa and the Box jellyfish, such as the famous and especially toxic Irukandji jellyfish, can be deadly. Stings may cause anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Medical care may include administration of an antivenom.

Detailed Video of firing nematocysts

Jellyfish are the major non-polyp form of individuals of the phylum Cnidaria. They are typified as free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey.

Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. A few jellyfish inhabit freshwater. Large, often colorful, jellyfish are common in coastal zones worldwide. Jellyfish have roamed the seas for at least 500 million years, and possibly 700 million years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal.

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Re-post of orginal..Posted by Jonathan Lowrie  Musings by a Mad Jellyfish

Ocean Care Solutions new Lionfish Sting 1st Aid Kit expands company family of marine sting first aid products

Ocean Care Solutions is devoted to providing safe and effective marine sting first aid products for the consumer.  Our products have been tested true as each individual kit follows the medically accepted first aid protocol supported by life saving agencies, physicians and medical facility research groups worldwide.  Each kit has all the components necessary, with easy to follow instructions, to provide immediate 1st aid medical attention on a variety of marine stingers.  No matter what you pleasure at the ocean; sport fishing, surfing, scuba, distance swimming, snorkeling or just hangin’ out in the surf, always be prepared with Ocean Care Solutions first aid products….Available on line or select retailers…Ask for it by name..You’ll be glad your did !!

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Beachhunter.net David McRee product review of Ocean Care Solutions new Lionfish Sting 1st aid kit.

Field use report from Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept

Over this past summer season, Ocean Care Solutions, Inc. provided Chief Peter Davis and supervising staff from the Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept. (www.galvestonbeachpatrol.com) with our Stingray and Man o War Sting First Aid Kits.

Here is the e mail OCS received from Chief Davis…

We did get to use the product quite a bit, although we used saline to wash the area as opposed to vinegar, thus following the recommendations of the USLA and medical protocols set by our medical director. People really seemed to respond well to it. They liked the packaging and the way it is a self contained treatment that they could potentially carry with them “just in case”.

Hope things are good with you. We had a fairly easy season as far as stings go, but enough for all of our supervisors to be able to use the product.

Take care,
Peter

Chief Peter Davis
Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept

Eyes hold clues to life for deadly box jellyfish..Queensland

Scientists in far north Queensland say a new discovery about the life cycle of the deadly box jellyfish will allow them to better predict when swimmers are at risk.

Researchers from James Cook University in Cairns have been able to pinpoint the exact time when box jellyfish turn from polyps into deadly stingers.

JCU Associate Professor Jamie Seymour says until now, there have been serious gaps in understanding when people are most at risk from the deadly animals.

“We’ve had a model for about eight or nine years now that predicts the end of the seasons and it does it really, to within two or three days,” he said.

“We’ve been spot on for the last seven or eight years but we’ve never been able to predict the start of the season.”

One of his PhD students, Matt Gordon, is now solving that mystery.

He has been able to get an insight into exactly when box jellyfish hatch by hunting them down off the far north Queensland coast near Weipa and gouging out their set of 24 eyes.

“It’s a lot like the trunk of a tree, it’s got concentric growth rings inside it and each one of those growth rings is added daily so then we were able to age exactly how old those jellyfish were,” he said.

He found the jellyfish turn from tiny polyps into deadly stingers around September but they do not turn up along the coast and start posing a risk to swimmers until November.

“The next thing I’d like to find out is what do they do in that two to three months? Where are they?” he said.

“We know they’re growing quite quickly so from that tiny size, they do reach a decent size quite quickly but where are they? What are they doing? Why is it a couple of months until they show up along the coastline?”

Professor Seymour says his team of researchers is prepared to put themselves on the line to answer those very questions.

“It’s sort of like working with snakes, as long as you get hold of the non-bitey end you’re away and running, ” he said.

“And having said that, it’s fun and if you take the precautions.”

Ocean Care Solutions Jellyfish Sting Sting Relief is proven effective on the Box jellyfish envenomation.  Made  with medically and scientifically recommended 5% acetci acid active..Don’t get stung without it !!

Article courtesy of ABC News written by Lauren Day

The Flower Hat Jellyfish..Brazil, Argentina and Japan

This jellyfish is a rare species and is generally small in size with a width of just about six inches. It is also known as Olindias Formosa and is very striking with shades of purple and orange colours. It has appearance of having a neon pink flower hat on its head. This is because its tentacles, when not in use, coil up and sticks to the rim. It has a painful sting but non-lethal to humans. It mainly feeds on small fish capturing its prey by injecting venom from its stinging cells its tentacles. It inhabits Brazil, Argentina and Japanese waters.flower hat jelly 10 of the Most Beautiful Jellyfish in the World

By the Wind Sailors..Stinging Cnidarians

Image via Wikimedia

Firstly; By-the-wind Sailor, what a wonderfully romantic name!  They get it from their lifestyle which is similar to our very own Portuguese Man o’ War, although they are much smaller and clearly a lot less famous. Sailors reach about 7 centimetres across and have quite a tough, rigid sail to harness the wind. It’s actually made of chitin, like insect exoskeletons. The sail I mean, not the wind. Like the Man o’ War, individuals have sails that bear either left or right into the wind so that when thousands are washed up on a beach, another few thousand have been sent in the opposite direction. When you have one sail and no oars or boat propeller I suppose something like that is necessary. A 50-50 chance is better than none at all! Surrounding the sail are rings of air filled tubes to provide buoyancy.

Image via Wikipedia

Despite the lovely name and care-free (until you hit the rocks) life style, By-the-wind Sailors are Cnidarians, which means they are meat eating, stinging monsters. In this case the tentacles are short, only about 1 cm long, and hang down below the edge of the disc and into the sea. They feed on tiny plankton of various kinds and seem to be completely harmless to humans, clearly a terrible disaster for their chances of fame.

It looks like most people consider By-the-wind Sailors to be made up of hydroid colonies, again, much like the Portuguese Man o’ War. Instead of one, big animal, it’s actually made up of lots of little ones that work together. It looks like others disagree and prefer to see it as something more like a floating, upside down Sea anemone with a sail on its foot. They both sound great to me!

Image Wikipedia

Either way, By-the-wind Sailors are all either male or female. When they mate, they first produce thousands of tiny jellyfish. These are about 3 mm across and are slightly brown because of their friends; inside their bodies are tiny microalgae that can gain energy from the Sun and provide some to their host. They are effectively paying for bed and board, which is nice of them. Eventually, the jellyfish will release sperm or eggs into the water to create new By-the-wind Sailors. Its a pretty odd life cycle, but then Cnidarians are utterly immersed in oddity so we’ll just have to get used to it.

I find it strange that I hadn’t heard of these creatures before. Loads of them get washed up all along the West coast of the US every year and they’ve even done the same in good ol’ Blighty. They look lovely with their rich, blue colours and concentric circles, yet there doesn’t seem to be great deal written about them. Shame. Looks like the Portuguese Man o’ War has stolen all the limelight!

Because the animal is a stinging cnidarian, although OCS has not had the opportunity to test our sting relief solution on this particular animal, all things considered, we are certain our product will provide effective sting relief should you get stung.

 

Article courtesy of Real Monstosities..

Australia's Box Jellyfish: Most Venomous Animal in the World

Documentary featuring Phillippe Cousteau and Jamie Seymour, venom biologist, James Cook University Queensland tracking the Australian Box Jellyfish…Don’t do this at home !!!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-2KR8LypESI#t=56s

 

The Marine Sting Institute has recommended the use of 5% acetic acid (vinegar) on the Box jellyfish envenomation.  While the animal is extremely dangerous and life threatening, application of vinegar on the way to the hospital for medical care can provide relief.

Ocean Care Solutions Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution is 5% acetic acid has proven safe, fast acting and effective on the Box jellyfish injury.  Don’t get stung without it !!