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Almost entirely transparent and colorless, and sometimes difficult to resolve, Aequorea victoria possess a highly contractile mouth and manubrium at the center of up to 100 radial canals that extend to the bell margin. The bell margin is surrounded by uneven tentacles, up to 150 of them in fully-grown specimens. The tentacles possess nematocysts that aid in prey capture, although they have no effect on humans. Specimens larger than 3 cm usually possess gonads for sexual reproduction, which run most of the length of the radial canals and are visible in the photos in this article as whitish thickenings along the radial canals. The bell margin is ringed with the muscular velum, which is typical of hydromedusae, and aids in locomotion through muscular contraction of the bell. Larger specimens are frequently found with symbiotic hyperiid amphipods attached to the subumbrella, or even occasionally living inside the gut or radial canals. The species is best known as the source of two proteins involved in bioluminescence, aequorin, a photoprotein, and green fluorescent protein (GFP). Their discoverers, Osamu Shimomura and colleagues, won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on GFP.
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