Stinging Cells from the Summer!

I am busy cranking away at the Smithsonian NMNH, but I wanted to share some photos of one of my favorite complex animal features: the stinging cell! Stinging cells house nematocysts, the stinging cell organelles distinctive to all cnidarians (hence the Latin translation, nettle-bearing animals). Nematocysts are thread-like capsules secreted by stinging cells that are… Continue reading Stinging Cells from the Summer!

Lives of Jellies at the Mall!

In the 95F heat, jetlagged, and arriving in DC less than 24 hours prior, I cannot describe how happy I was to do a little jellyfish outreach with the interns and researchers of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) Invertebrate Biology Aquaroom at the Annual Smithsonian Staff Picnic! Along with Dr. Allen Collins, Dr.… Continue reading Lives of Jellies at the Mall!

Sea Anemones, Peptide Super Heros

Review of: J. Prentis, P., Pavasovic, A., & S Norton, R. (2018). Sea Anemones: Quiet Achievers in the Field of Peptide Toxins. Toxins, 10(1), 36. DOI:10.3390/toxins10010036 If you search the VenomZone website under the cnidarian section, you will find that most cnidarian toxins are derived from sea anemones (Class Anthozoa, order Actiniaria). My first literature review is a paper…… Continue reading Sea Anemones, Peptide Super Heros

Species spotlight: Egg Yolk Jellies

One of my outreach activities is a jellyfish common name guessing game, where we ask participants to guess the hilarious names such like pink meanies, snotties, sea tomatoes, and blue blubbers. Of all the jellies, most folks can immediately guess the Egg-yolk Jellyfish, Phacellophora camtschatica. Like a fried egg swimming in the sea.... The species… Continue reading Species spotlight: Egg Yolk Jellies

So When You Say Jellyfish? Three Definitions, Explained

When I am giving a presentation at outreach events, I usually start with a slide of a sea nettle in the center of a black screen. Sea nettles have that stereotypical look that the word “jellyfish” most folks conjure up in their mind: large, round bell, tentacles coming out from the edges and semi-transparent with… Continue reading So When You Say Jellyfish? Three Definitions, Explained