logo

Video encyclopedia

Portuguese man o' war

2:52

Beautiful Jellyfish - Portugese Man O' War (Physalia physalis)

0:33

Portuguese Man o' War - Bluebottles - Physalia physalis

2:56

The deadly tentacles of the Portuguese man o' war | Blue Planet II - BBC One

0:23

portuguese man o' war (Physalia physalis), belize

4:10

Portuguese Man o' War: An Organism Made of Organisms?

The Atlantic Portuguese man o' war, also known as the man-of-war, is a marine hydrozoan of the family Physaliidae found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its long tentacles deliver a painful sting, which is venomous and powerful enough to kill fish or, rarely, humans. Despite its appearance, the Portuguese man o' war is not a true jellyfish but a siphonophore, which is not actually a single multicellular organism, but a colonial organism made up of specialized individual animals called zooids or polyps. These polyps are attached to one another and physiologically integrated, to the extent that they cannot survive independently, creating a symbiotic relationship, requiring each polyp to work together and function like an individual animal.