kelp clearers

Are you hungry? Not as hungry as these purple sea urchins! Recent research shows exploding urchin populations have munched their way through most of the healthy kelp forests of the California coast. Learn more about these kelp fiends and the damage they have caused in today’s comic: kelp clearers.

Hungry for more? Learn more about the study here or check out the actual study for yourself!

restored resident

Guess who’s back? Sorry Eminem fans, it’s not Slim Shady… it’s the Olympia oyster, the official state oyster of Washington State.  Learn more about restoration efforts of these native oysters in today’s comic: restored resident.

Also, anybody who knows me, knows I love geography trivia and state facts. Today’s comic is also in the first in a new series I’m calling “United States of Invertebrates” where I’ll be intermittently highlighting the stories behind invertebrates that are also U.S. state symbols.  Get excited fellow nerds!

Still curious? Check out this article and this Seattle Times feature!

sharp smile

Think you are sharp? Not as sharp as these sea urchins. You probably know urchins have sharp spines, but did you know they have sharp teeth? Recent research shows that sea urchins have self-sharpening teeth. Thanks to my academic sister and urchin enthusiast Dr. Karen Chan for requesting this one. Learn more in today’s comic: sharp smile.

Learn more about the study here!

endangered avenger

You know Iron Man, but do you know Iron Snail? That’s right. The scaly-foot snail, native to hydrothermal vent ecosystems, has scales that are iron-coated. But…that’s not why they’ve been in the news lately. They are the first animal to be listed as endangered due to the threat of deep-sea mining. Deep sea biologist Julia Sigwart, Queen’s University Belfast, led the project to get these snails listed as endangered. Learn more in today’s comic: endangered avenger

Learn more about this badass but endangered snail here.