National Geographic : 1937 Feb
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE lW ivanonai jeograpnic society Fainted by Else Bostelmann under direction Roy W. Miner A FAIRY FRIGATE DRIFTS NORTHWARD ON THE GULF STREAM Dealing death to tiny tropic dwellers, the PORTUGUESE MAN-OF-WAR seems an iridescent, bubble like craft. Actually, it is a colony of cooperative polyps, each with a special function. The " sail," or crested bladder of the mother unit, contains gas that keeps the craft afloat. Green polyps feel and taste, blue ones absorb food, and the pink are reproductive organs. The long streamers bear batteries of nettle cells so powerful that shipwrecked sailors stung by them have been known to die. The tentacles paralyze fish and convey them to the "mouths." Curiously, the PORTUGUESE MAN-OF-WAR FISH (lower) lives unharmed among the streamers, probably acting as a lure and sharing the prey.