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!
It’s graduation season! A time to celebrate the end of one life stage and the transition to the next step. Metamorphosis from larvae to adults is an invertebrate milestone just as deserving of a celebration.
Learn more about “graduations’ in marine snails (gastropods) in today’s comic: gastropod graduation
Also, check out a super cute swimming snail larvae in action!
If there were an invertebrate edition of Fear Factor (remember Fear Factor?!) Tardigrades would definitely win! Check out today’s comic ‘tough tardigrades‘ to see why.
Learn more about Tardigrades (aka water bears) and how indestructible they are here
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!
My mom is more of an amphipod than a coral. Check out some marine moms in today’s belated Mother’s Day comic: mom genes
To learn more about coral moms, check out this video on broadcast spawning, and to learn more about how amphipod moms are the kangaroos of the sea, read more about their brood pouches
Being from NYC, I can understand how the Giant Pacific Octopus has a taken a liking to urban areas. Recent studies (Heery et al., 2018) have shown that these octopuses are more common in deep water around cities, likely because they colonize all the sunken junk offshore. Learn more in today’s comic: city slickers
Thanks to Eliza Heery, National University of Singapore, for the inspiration. Also be sure to check out her new TEDx talk on her research about urban marine areas!
For those who want the nitty gritty, check out Eliza’s paper!
The white abalone, like Destiny’s Child, is in the process of making a successful comeback. Check it out in today’s comic shell survivors
Thanks to Kristin Aquilino, UC Davis, for the inspiration. Read her article and check out this video to learn more about the white abalone restoration effort.
Guess what…it’s my 30th comic! To celebrate, a dung beetle tribute to The Beatles. And also the first terrestrial invertebrate to be featured on Interviews with Invertebrates. Dung beetles have some famous eco-friendly habits making them a suitable invertebrate for wishing you all a Happy Belated Earth Day! Check out today’s comic: a beetle road
Also, catch a few dung beetles in action: BBC Earth – Kung Fu Dung Beetles
What’s the scariest marine animal you can think of? A shark? Think again. Many different kinds of marine invertebrates like snails, jellyfish and octopuses have venom they use to paralyze their prey. Learn more in today’s comic: venomous villains
To learn more about the venomous villains featured in today’s comic:
Cone snails – National Geographic: Cone Snails
Box Jelly- National Geographic: Box Jellies
Blue ringed octopus – Ocean Conservancy: Blue-Ringed Octopus
Move over Trebek! If any invertebrate has a shot at beating Ken Jennings on Jeopardy, it’s an octopus. Learn more about how these how these cephalopods think on today’s comic: octo-prodigy
To see octopus smarts and creativity in action check out this video: BBC Earth: octopus steals crab from fisherman