Do Jellyfish Poop? (Everything You Need To Know)

With so many beautiful colors and patterns, jellyfish are some of the coolest animals you will find. They also have one of the simplest bodies; they lack a brain, heart, and even blood. Like mammals, a large portion of their body is water. However, despite their small bodies, they possess a complex digestive system that lacks an anus, as you would find in most animals. So, you may be wondering – do jellyfish poop?

Technically, jellyfish do not poop like mammals or most animals. And that is because they lack an anus. However, they have a mechanism through which they excrete waste and it’s through the same hole they use to eat.

Do Jellyfish Poop

Besides jellyfish, sea anemones, sponges and corals also possess a similar digestive system. These animals were originally regarded as “Coelenterata” which is used to describe animals that eat and poop through one port or hole. 

What do jellyfish eat?

Jellyfish can be described as “passive” or opportunistic feeders. They are essentially carnivores and will eat just about any animal that comes in their path as long as it fits into their “mouth”. In other words, jellyfish prey on smaller animals and these can include anything from small fishes to tiny shrimps. 

They capture these animals using their long tentacles with the aid of sting cells and spiky barbs. In most cases, the jellyfish will inject the prey with poison to paralyze it and render it immobile. Then, slowly, it contracts its tentacles and oral arms and moves the prey into its mouth. 

In general, most jellyfish eat copepods, plankton, fish eggs, and larvae. Also, it’s not uncommon for larger jellyfish to eat smaller jellyfish as well as shrimp, fish, crabs, and even tiny plants. 

It is worth mentioning that jellyfish have to digest their food very quickly so they will be able to float, or else the undigested grub will weigh them down. 

How do jellyfish poop?

We’ve already established that jellyfish eat and “poop” through the same hole. But how exactly do they do this?

Feeding Through The Mouth 

While most animals have two holes, which include a mouth and an anus, jellyfish have only one hole. 

Though this hole is essentially the mouth, it also serves as the anus. This is why it’s often called “manus”. The manus makes it impossible for the jellyfish to digest things linearly. 

The mouth or manus is located at the center of the body and is surrounded by long tentacles. 

Excreting Through The Mouth 

Once the jellyfish successfully moves a prey into its mouth, the food is acted on by enzymes and digested, so the nutrients required by the animal are absorbed. It is similar to what plays out in your stomach after taking a meal.

After nutrients are absorbed, the remaining waste or “poop” is released back through the mouth. 

Where do jellyfish poop from?

Jellyfish poop through the same hole they use to eat. As earlier indicated, this hole is located at the center of their bodies leading into the stomach. The exact process through which waste is carried through their body and excreted from the mouth is not known. 

Jellyfish are not the only animals with such holes. Two other modern-day examples are sea anemones and sea sponges. 

The implication of having one hole is that jellyfish can’t linearly digest food like mammals and other animals. Because of this, some people like to say that jellyfish “throop”, which is coined from “throwing up” and “pooping”. Isn’t that interesting?

FAQS: Do Jellyfish Poop?

Do jellyfish poop out of their mouth?

Yes! Once their food is digested, the remaining waste is pushed back into the “mouth” and expelled. Many people call this the “manus” because they essentially feed through the same hole. 

Do jellyfish eat and poop out of the same hole?

Yes, they do. It’s the same hole that links to their guts and it’s often regarded as their mouth. They eat and excrete through this hole. It’s safe to say jellies have “potty” mouths. Other animals with similar holes are sponges and sea anemones. 

Do jellyfish have an anus?

No, jellies do not have an anus. While most animals have two ports or holes, which include a mouth for eating and an anus for excreting, jellies have only one hole which is their “mouth”. They poop or excrete waste through their mouth. 

Do jellyfish defecate?

Yes, they do, although their mode of defecation is not the same as that of humans. As earlier indicated, jellies have a single hole through which they eat and defecate. This hole connects to their gut. 

Conclusion: Do Jellyfish Poop?

To conclude, jellyfish do not have an anus. So they don’t poop like humans or other animals that have two holes (mouth and anus). They eat and “shit” through the same opening – their mouth. 

It is not exactly clear how they transport food but after digestion takes place, the remaining waste is passed back into the mouth and excreted.

There’s still much about jellyfish that is not yet known, which is why they are the subjects of many studies. The science behind their food digestion and excretion is just one of them. Let us know if you have any more questions. Meanwhile, we will love to hear about what you know about jellies. 


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