You thought Houdini was a master escape artist? Check out the Houdini of invertebrates…the sea anemone, genus Stomphia. Learn more about these anemones that can swim away from hungry predators in today’s comic: anemone escape.
And check out this video to see Stomphia in action!
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!
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!
Are you trippin’? Because these snails definitely are. Or so it would seem. Learn more about the parasitic worms, called trematodes, that cause snails to loose their minds in today’s comic: trippy trematode.
Learn more about these crazy creatures here.
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.
Did you find the mystery invertebrate from last week? No? Do you need a hint? It’s the caddisfly larvae.
Caddisfly larvae were some of my favorite freshwater invertebrates to teach students about when I worked as an educator at Frost Valley YMCA. Learn more about these cool critters and the houses they make in today’s comic: caddisfly construction.
Learn more about caddisflies here!
TODAY MARKS MY 100th COMIC!
That’s right, I’ve drawn 100 invertebrates over the past 100 weeks! Today’s comic: one hundred invertebrates is a compilation and celebration of all my previous comics. I’ve included invertebrates from the previous 99 comics I’ve drawn and added a bonus 100th invertebrate that will be featured next week. I’ll send some interviews with invertebrates swag to whoever posts the first comment that correctly locates and identifies the mystery invertebrate. Need help? Check out the complete collection of past comics to start crossing invertebrates off your list. Happy invertebrate-ing!
Also, I’m really proud to have continued this project for 100 straight weeks, even through multiple field seasons, my PhD General Exam and grad school stress. These comics have let me keep art in my life even through the stress of getting a PhD. But it has also been a lot more than that. I’ve shared comics with folks in science at every level including professors, teachers, grad, undergrad and high school students, as well as those who don’t think about science everyday including friends, family, neighbors and others. I’ve helped people learn new things but mostly I’ve learned a whole lot myself. Comics have enabled me to connect with other scientists, learn about their research and take on the challenge of translating it for the general public. It’s been a great experience. And hopefully I’ve been able to convince a few folks that invertebrates are cool and important along the way! To the next 100!
To all the fans, thank you so much for the support and keep your spineless excitement coming!
You know snails are slow…but did you know they are THIS SLOW?! New research by Dr. Amy Moran, University of Hawaii, and colleagues describes an Antarctic snail with one of the longest development times recorded – 8 YEARS! These guys certainly live up to their reputation. Learn more in today’s comic: the slowest snail.
Check out the paper here.
Did you know there’s bubble gum in the ocean? No? Well then, it’s time to get out of your bubble and check out these deep water corals! I learned about these cool animals last week from Dr. Anna Metaxas, Dalhousie University, who studies populations and distributions of bubblegum corals off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Learn more in today’s comic: bubble bust.
Learn more about bubblegum corals and if your feeling ambitious, check out Dr. Metaxas’ paper.
Who doesn’t love a good Beatles parody? These bryozoans certainly do. Learn more about baby bryozoans and their great quest for the perfect kelp blade to settle down on before becoming adults in today’s comic: kelp quest.
It’s also about time I did a comic on the bryozoan, Membranipora membranacea, since part of my dissertation is dedicated to research on them. Learn more about these cuties and their kelp preferences.