Portuguese Man Of War is not a single organism, but a colony of organisms that form themselves into something like a jellyfish, it is named after a sailing ship because it has a sail made of an inflated gas bag.The bag itself is filled with air and carbon monoxide which allows the entire colony to float and also helps the wind propel them.This unique aquatic creature, If attacked from above, can deflate and sink below the surface for a while.

The colony is made of tube like Zooids and they are not a type of jelly fish.They all specialize into different roles and act as separate body parts for the man this sea creatures. Some become long stinging tentacles that paralyze and kill fish.

The tentacle zooids draw fish up to the zooids that can eat food and share the nutrients with the colony.There are even zooids who become reproductive organs and either become male or female though no one knows how the colony determines which to be or how they reproduce.

They can collect into groups of colonies called Legions, which can be dangerous. The sting of the tentacle zooids in a man o war is dangerous and will leave whip like open wounds wherever they touch.

They have even killed humans on occasion. They have specialized cells with a touch sensitive trigger which launches a microscopic harpoon through the skin and pumps venom into the target.

Portuguese Man Of war, are a type of siphonophore which form these kinds of colonies that blur the lines between a single organism and a colony.Different siphonophores organize their colonies of very simple and similar zooids into very different and distinct colonies that fill a variety of roles

.Definitions of Terms:

Zooid :- Member of a colony of an organism that is joined together.

Siphonophore:-An order of Coelentrates (class Hydrozoa) including Portuguese Man of war, floating, colonial animal with high degree of specialization of members for example, feeding, protection and reproduction.


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