What is Portuguese man-of-war?

   Portuguese man-of-war, or Physalia, is a colony of animals found on the surface of warm seas. Instead of being attached, the colony develops a large, crested gas bag, or float. The crest on the float acts as a sail. The colony is moved by wind or water currents.
   Hanging from the float is a colony made of several kinds of polyps, or individuals. There are long, tentacled individuals that protect the colony and capture food. Some of these tentacles may be sixty or more feet long. They bear stinging cells called nematocysts which paralyze prey. After the prey is paralyzed, the tentacles contract and draw the animal up toward the float where the feeding polyps, digest it.
   There are also bell-shaped, medusa-like individuals. They are reproductive polyps, producing eggs and sperm.