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!

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!

“Strong”ylocentrotus

What? Let me explain. Pink fragile sea urchins (genus Strongylocentrotus) really put the “strong” in Strongylocentrotus. Research done by Friday Harbor Labs Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Kirk Sato, shows that differences in natural environmental oxygen and pH conditions can cause differences in urchin skeleton strength. Learn more in today’s comic: “Strong”-ylocentrotus.

Learn some fast facts about the pink urchin …And if you are feeling really “strong”, check out Kirk’s paper.

urchin searchin’

A real life underwater mystery machine! The submersible, Cyclops I (OceanGate), has been at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs through a collaboration with SeaDoc Society for the past week solving some of the scientific mysteries of deep marine ecosystems in the San Juan Archipelago. Check out today’s comic urchin searchin’ to learn more about the Cyclops I mission to find the deepest dwelling red sea urchin.

To learn more about the research done in the sub, check out the Seattle Times article on the projects!