The peach blossom jellyfish is entirely transparent, and is shaped like an umbrella. [Photo: dahe.cn]
Large schools of rare peach blossom jellyfish were recently found in a reservoir in Pingdingshan City's Weidong District in central China's Henan Province, according to a report from news Web site Dahe.cn on Wednesday.
A fisherman first spotted the rare freshwater jellyfish in the reservoir, and just 20 days ago, they began emerging in large groups. Local villagers said they hadn't seen such creatures in the reservoir in years.
Li Fating, 55, said that his family has lived in the village for many generations, and he has never seen and heard of the creatures before.
The peach blossom jellyfish is entirely transparent, and is shaped like an umbrella. It usually grows to 2 or 3 centimeters in length.
Local aquatic researcher Chen Guoxian confirmed the invertebrates are peach blossom jellyfish after he compared a specimen to records.
The rare jellyfish is regarded as a "living fossil" in biology and evolution, as one of the lowest levels of life on Earth. Jellyfish appeared millions of years earlier than dinosaurs, and their unique genes are significant for research on modern genetic engineering.
The creature has very critical requirements for its living environment, and even a miniscule degree of water pollution would be fatal. It is very hard to find one alive, and Chinese authorities have ranked it "the most endangered creature" in the world. Hence, the peach blossom jellyfish is also called "panda in the water."