The Ultimate Jellyfish Venom Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Jellyfish Venom Quiz
Image: Xtremer/Veer

About This Quiz

The jellyfish is an unusual and fascinating marine animal. Despite its semi-transparent, gelatinous appearance the jellyfish has a painful, venomous sting if you come into contact with one of its tentacles. Take this quiz and learn more about this unique sea creature.
Would you describe the jellyfish as a poisonous or a venomous marine creature?
both
poisonous
venomous
The terms are used interchangeably, but have different meanings. Poison is ingested, whereas venom is injected for offensive purposes and so the jellyfish is venomous.

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Where does a venomous creature usually acquire its poison?
from what they eat
Venomous creatures usually manufacture the poison through their diet.
produce it themselves
produced during mating season

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What is common to different venomous creatures?
lying in wait for prey
means of delivering the venom
They have a means of actively delivering the venom, such as by fangs, stingers, tails or tentacles.
immunity to venom of other creatures

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Which marine creature has the deadliest venom?
Portuguese Man-of-War
hydra
box jellyfish
The sting of the pale blue box jellyfish is among the deadliest in the world.

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How long does it take for the box jellyfish venom to kill a human?
five minutes
The venom can kill a human within five minutes.
ten minutes
fifteen minutes

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Just how much venom does this deadly creature have?
20 adults
40 adults
60 adults
The box jellyfish has enough venom to take down 60 adults.

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What are nematocysts?
the actual stinger
tiny stinging darts
They are like tiny stinging darts that fire whenever the tentacle of the jellyfish comes into contact with chemicals on the body of the prey or victim.
cells of the tentacle

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How many nematocysts are there in each tentacle?
5000
Each tentacle has about 5,000.
2000
500

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What are cnidoblasts?
stinging trigger
venom container
cells that house nematocysts
They are the cells on the tentacle housing nematocysts.

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The venom of the box jellyfish is described as dermonecrotic. What does that mean?
damages functioning of the brain
kills skin cells and underlying tissue
It can kill skin cells and underlying tissue, resulting in blackened, dead skin and possible scarring.
affects the nervous system

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What happens when you try to shake the stingers off?
The tentacles contract and stick tighter.
Attempting to shake them off makes the tentacles contract and stick tighter to your skin, possibly releasing even more stingers.
The tentacles back off but the stingers can rip your skin while retreating.
The stingers detach from the nematocysts and are driven far beneath the surface of your skin.

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Is there an effective first aid prior to medical treatment?
carbonated soft drink
cold fresh water
vinegar
Acetic acid solutions such as vinegar render the stinging cells harmless, preventing further venom from entering your body. If you don't happen to have vinegar with you at the beach, urine is readily available and also works well.

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How do some Australians avoid jellyfish stings?
They rub insect repellant on their skin before entering the water.
They wear women's pantyhose when swimming.
They wear women's pantyhose, since the nylon prevents the jellyfish from detecting the chemicals on the skin which causes it to sting. What your friends might think about you wearing pantyhose when swimming is another story.
They trail ribbons behind them to distract the jellyfish's tentacles.

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What is a common method of measuring the toxicity of a substance?
WD-40
Toxicon
LD50
LD50 is the lethal dose that kills half of the test animals it is used on.

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Why are researchers phasing out this method?
to reduce the deaths of test animals
Despite the desire to have a standardized measure, there is a need to find alternative methods that would reduce the deaths of test animals.
not accurate enough
frequent changes in the chemical compositions of venoms

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What other reasons are there for seeking alternatives?
These experiments are expensive and funding is scarce.
The rapid evolution of the different types of venom makes it impossible for research to keep up.
Test animals don't respond the same way as humans.
Test animals such as rats or rabbits don't have the same response to venom that humans would, even taking into consideration relative sizes and weights.

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What is an inland taipan?
venomous cone snail
deadly snake
This Australian snake is considered the deadliest in the world.
freshwater jellyfish

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Just how deadly is it?
It is fatal to humans with no known antidote.
Kills prey in seconds.
Venom from one bite can kill 15,000 mice.
The venom from one bite is enough to kill 15,000 mice.

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How are venomous creatures benefiting mankind?
Part of the cone shell's venom has been developed into a drug for chronic pain.
A component of the cone shell's venom has been developed into a drug for chronic pain believed to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine.
Jellyfish venom has been modified to act as a tranquilizer for horses.
Components of the cone snail venom were modified to develop shark repellants.

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What animal is contributing to fighting cancer?
funnel-web spider
copperhead snake
An ingredient in copperhead venom is used to fight cancer.
sea wasp

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You Got:
/20
Xtremer/Veer

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