A couple of weeks ago, New York Times’s science writer Carl Zimmer wrote about a recent review of Hays et al (2018), which asked: how important are jellyfish in marine ecosystems? The answer: important. In fact, probably more important than we have been giving them credit for. Jellyfish (often referring to both cnidarians and ctenophores)… Continue reading Jellyfish are Good Eatin’!
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!
I had the opportunity for a little "working" vacation back in Ohio. And by working, I of course mean hardcore creeking. For science. When biologists or naturalists are asked how they got into their field, the stereotype is they spent a lot of time outside as a kid, playing with creepy crawlies on the ground… Continue reading Fieldwork Evolution
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
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