hydrothermal hot tub

Hydrothermal vents in the deep sea are remote environments on the ocean floor…or are they? Thanks to expeditions like the VISION’S research cruises (University of Washington, Dept of Oceanography) to Axial Volcano off the coast of Oregon, these environments are becoming better understood.

Learn more about hydrothermal vents and the instruments that marine scientists use to study them in today’s comic: hydrothermal hot tub

Check out updates from the VISION’S Expedition cruise and live video feed from the ROV Jason dives!


are you ready for this jelly?

Last week, I learned about the upside-down jellyfish, of the genus Cassiopea, from Dr. Monica Medina (Penn State University).  Cassiopea has symbiotic algae in its tissues which helps the jellies get the nutrition they need. The Medina Lab has been using Cassiopea to study how host organisms interact with their symbionts throughout different stages in their life. Learn more about Cassiopea in today’s comic: jealous jellies

Check out the upside-down jellies in action and the cool work being done in the Medina lab!


sea urchins and amphipods

Gustav Paulay (Curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida) told me about these cool amphipods that live on sea urchin spines. Not just on sea urchin spines, but on their own poop strands they shape to extend those spines. And they live there with their kids too. Yes, you read that right. They make poop tightropes to live on with their whole family.

Don’t believe me? Learn more about these little guys here and check out today’s comic!

Thanks Gustav!


ladybugs and wannabes

Ladybugs are to The Plastics as the Ladybug Mimic Spider is to Lindsay Lohan.

I’m sure ladybugs are actually very nice, but I’ve exploited their ecology for a laugh. I’m sorry, I hope they’ll forgive me.

Learn more about ladybugs and the spiders that want to be them in today’s comic: mean ladies

Learn more about mimicry in nature here and check out this video to learn more about the Ladybug Mimic Spider.

You go Glen Coco!