Portuguese Man O' War

Published: 11.26.2017
Level 5   |   Time: 2:55
Accent: British
Source: BBC Blue Planet II

A short video showing a Portuguese man o' war hunting, killing and eating a small fish.


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary / background.
  2. WATCH the video.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers. (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • a bladder [n] - a sac which holds liquid
  • a membrane [n] - a thin piece of skin, like a sheet
  • a sail [n] - a piece of material used to catch wind (usually on a boat)
  • a thread [n] - a thin string-like substance
  • a tentacle [n] - a thin flexible limb or appendage in an animal
  • armed [adj] - carrying weapons
  • sting [v] - a burning feeling from the poison of an animal (like a bee)
  • lethal [adj] - able to cause death
  • lurk [v] - move slowly to stay hidden
  • nibble [v] - take small bites
  • reel in [phv] - bring in
  • paralyzed [exp] - unable to move
  • liquify [v] - change into a liquid
  • husk [n] - the shell or skin of an animal

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. How does the Portuguese man o' war float?
    It uses its long tentacles.
    It has membrane that acts like a sail.
    It has a bladder filled with gas.

  2. How does it maintain a steady course?
    It uses its long tentacles.
    It has membrane that acts like a sail.
    It has a bladder filled with gas.

  3. How long can the Portuguese man o' war's tentacles be?
    3 meters long
    30 centimeters long
    30 meters long

  4. What type of cells do the tentacles have?
    stinging cells
    human cells
    light cells

  5. What do man o' war fish do?
    They nibble on the tentacles of Portuguese man o' war.
    They hunt and kill Portuguese man o' war.
    They get eaten by Portuguese man o' war.

  6. How does the Portuguese man o' war catch fish?
    It paralyzes fish with its tentacles.
    It sprays poison on fish.
    It crushes fish with a rock.

  7. How does the Portuguese man o' war "eat" the fish?
    It chews the fish with its large mouth.
    It crushes the fish with its tentacles.
    It liquifies the fish with chemicals.

  8. What remains after Portuguese man o' war finishes eating the fish?
    just the head
    just the skin
    just the bones

triangle Script

The Portuguese man o' war. It floats with the help of a gas-filled bladder topped by a vertical membrane. With that serving as a sail, it maintains a steady course through the waves.

Long threads trail behind it, some as much as 30 meters long. Each is armed with many thousands of stinging cells. A single tentacle could kill a fish, or in rare cases, a human.

But among its lethal tentacle lurks a man o’ war fish that feeds by nibbling them. Once this fish has some resistance to the stings, it must still be extremely careful. Most other fish are not so lucky.

A tentacle has caught this one and reels it in. It’s already paralyzed. Specialized muscular tentacle transfer the victim to other that digest the catch, liquefying it with powerful chemicals.

Eventually, all that is left is a scaly husk.

Octopus the Thief
Sea Otter Fur