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Jellyfish

1999 will undoubtably be denoted as a "good jellyfish year". These creatures seem to drift North with the Gulf Stream and the currents, doing little harm unless the collide in numbers at a fish or salmon farm where they cover everything in a green slime.

However, they have their uses. Marine turtles feed voraciously on jellyfish. As with racing pigeons, scientists suspect that they too may navigate over thousands of miles utilising the earth's magnetic field. They may also have some kind of mental map of the oceans in which they live.

Previous research utilised numbered tags - as with fish - but these proved unsatisfactory.

Current research utilises tiny radio transmitters weighing just 50 grams and linked to polar-orbiting NASA satellites.

Similarly, the RSPB is fitting similar transmitters on to Scottish ospreys so that their movements on their migration routes down to the West coast of Africa can be plotted.