Brevard County Ocean Rescue Issues Portuguese Man-of-War, Sea Dragons Warning

By  //  February 26, 2018

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Use caution, 'don’t pick up the pretty blue balloons on the beach'

Brevard County Ocean Rescue has been flying purple flags for days due to Portuguese Man-of-war and Sea Dragons in the surf and on the shore. (BCFR image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard County Ocean Rescue has been flying purple flags for days due to Portuguese Man-of-war and Sea Dragons in the surf and on the shore.

Brevard County Fire officials issued a warning: Use caution aka, don’t pick up the pretty blue balloons on the beach.

The Atlantic Portuguese man o’ war, also known as the man-of-war, or floating terror, has venomous long tentacles deliver a painful sting, which on extremely rare occasions has been fatal to humans.

Despite its outward appearance, the Portuguese man o’ war is not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, which, unlike jellyfish, is not a single multicellular organism, but a colonial organism made up of specialized individual animals (of the same species) called zooids or polyps.

These polyps are attached to one another and physiologically integrated, to the extent that they are unable to survive independently, and therefore have to work together and function like an individual animal.

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