Biology KS3/4: Jellyfish and photosynthesis

Professor Brian Cox sees photosynthesis in action, investigating a unique type of jellyfish that have evolved to carry algae within their bodies and feed off the glucose the plants create.

Diving in the one lake in Palau in Micronesia where they are found, he observes how the golden jellyfish move towards the light of the sun throughout the day to increase photosynthesis.

The symbiotic relationship between the two species allows the jellyfish to live off the glucose the algae produce. The chemical reaction is shown in formulae.

This is an example of how photosynthesis powers food webs and ecosystems all over the globe.

This clip is from the series Wonders of Life.

Teacher Notes

Can be used to reinforce the chemical process of photosynthesis, and to discuss adaptation, symbiosis and food chains.

Students should watch the clip and then explain how both organisms benefit from this arrangement. They could then research other examples of symbiotic relationships.

Curriculum Notes

These clips will be relevant for teaching Biology and Science at KS3 and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 in Scotland. The topics discussed will support OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 and Higher in Scotland.

More from Wonders of Life:

Bacteria and the development of an oxygen rich atmosphere
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Conservation of energy
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How has life on Earth become so varied?
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Lemurs: Evolution and adaptation
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The arrival of water on Earth
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The origins of life on Earth
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Evolution of hearing
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Evolution of sight
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Evolution of the senses
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Gravity, size and mass
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Size and heat
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