Is the portuguese man o'war venomous?

The Portuguese man o'war, (Physalia physalis) is sometimes referred to as a jellyfish, but is primarily a siphonophore genus, a group of animals closely associated with jellyfish. A siphonophore is an unusual organism in that it is composed of genetically similar, specialised cells—zooids—each with a particular function; all functioning together as one. The man o'war has four specialized parts that perform various functions, such as catching prey, floating, feeding, and reproducing. Men o'war are made to float in tropical and subtropical seas individually, and sometimes float in colonies of a thousand or even more!

Similar to a full-sail Portuguese warship of the 18th century, the o'war man is identified by a balloon-like float that can be blue, purple or pink and goes up up to 6 inches above the waterline. Long strands of tentacles and polyps are lapped below the float, which reach an average of 30 meters and reach up to 100 feet. The tentacles of the jellyfish contain nematocysts, micro-envenomed capsules which discharge a paralysing venom on small sea creatures. While the man o' war's sting does not kill people often, it causes extensive pain and red marks on skin exposed to the sting.

Each summer, particularly on the east coast, this species is responsible for up to 10,000 human stings in Australia, with some others occurring off the coast of South Australia and Western Australia.

Is the portuguese man o'war venomous

The stinging, venomous nematocysts can paralyze small fish and other prey in the tentacles of the Portuguese man or war. Dissociated tentacles and dead organisms (including those on the shore) will stagnate as painfully in the water as the living organism and remain strong for hours or days after the organism dies or the tentacular detachment.

Sting normally causes extreme human pain, leaving a whipy red twist on the skin, usually two to three days after first sting, but after 1 to 3 hours the pain should be reduced. However, the venom can also spread to the lymph nodes and cause a variety of allergic reactions including swelling of the larynx, airway blockage, heart failure, and an inability to breathe. Other signs can include fatigue, discomfort, and even death in some severe situations, but this is pretty uncommon. In order to relieve pain or open airways, medical treatment may become essential for those subjected to large numbers of tentacles if the pain becomes unbearable or persists for even more than 3 hours, or if respiration becomes difficult. Cases where the sting entirely surround the trunk of a person's body are among these instances that have the tendency to be fatal.

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