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What the shell? The tusk shells are in a class all their own
December 13, 2017 Blog post: Tusk shells belong to the Class Scaphopoda, meaning boat foot. In contrast to a real elephant's ivory tusk, a scaphopod's conical shell is open on both ends.
Where there’s a quill, there’s a way: The slender sea pen
March 2, 2016 Blog post: This month's critter looks a lot like an old fashioned-feather quill pen and is fittingly named Stylatula elongata, the sea pen.
Get winterized with the frost-spot corambe
December 2, 2016 Blog post: The frost-spot corambe is a beautiful sea slug with frosty white speckles that seem to glow as if it just swallowed a set of twinkly lights.
The arrow worms: Part worm, part fish, part…tiger?
July 22, 2020 Blog post: Let’s get “straight to the point”: the arrow worm is “right on target” to be named one of the strangest creatures roaming Puget Sound.
It’s slime time! The slime tube worm lives in a house of horrors
October 26, 2021 Blog post: Sliiiime. Just saying the word conjures up images of monsters from scary movies like The Blob, The Thing, and Ghostbusters. But to the slime tube worm, all this ooze looks like Home Sweet Home.
Get ready to "fall" for the orange sea pen
September 29, 2017 Blog post: The orange sea pen resembles a colorful autumn tree waving in the breeze of moving water currents.
My heart will go on: the humble heart cockle lives long and prospers
February 14, 2019 Blog post: The heart cockle is a bivalve named for its heart-shaped profile. They are the largest cockles on the west coast, reaching almost 6 inches in length.
This creeping pedal sea cucumber might just give you the creeps!
October 30, 2019 Blog post: Move over, bats and spiders! With its blood-red tentacles and scaly body, the creeping pedal sea cucumber might just be the next creature to haunt your Halloween nightmares.
It ain’t easy being green…unless you’re a kelp humpback shrimp
March 16, 2020 Blog post: Top o’ the morning to you! Take a lesson in wearing green from the kelp humpback shrimp, who woke up dressed and ready in its Irish best.
The solitary pink-mouth hydroid keeps it together (at a distance)
May 20, 2020 Blog post: The solitary pink mouth hydroid demonstrates that it might just be possible to embrace togetherness – at a safe distance.
Bad blood? More like "mad love" for the Pacific blood star
October 25, 2023 Blog post:

With its bright coloring, the Pacific blood star Henricia leviuscula is a recognizable sight in rocky tide pools. Read on to learn about the crimson critter with a few tricks up its spindly sleeves.”-than-bad-blood”-for-the-pacific-blood-star
The voucher sheet project
March 3, 2017 Blog post: A voucher sheet is a document that contains descriptions and photos of a species. We create these to identify the critters we monitor and to help other scientists doing similar work.
Be still, my heart (urchin)!
February 14, 2017 Blog post: Unlike most sea urchins, which are round, heart urchins appear heart-shaped, elongate with a small depression at one end for the mouth.
The British Columbian Doto: Just another Northwest slug?
March 21, 2016 Blog post: The Doto is a species of sea slug, also known as a nudibranch. It is a marine gastropod in the family Dotidae.
Moss animals: Animals in plant disguises!
March 28, 2019 Blog post: Bryozoans take on many different growth forms that provide habitat and shelter for juvenile fish and invertebrates. Some resemble fans or lace, while others appear more geometric.
Size matters — What can we learn from biomass and size classification?
July 19, 2018 Blog post: We're studying benthic invertebrate biomass (critter size) for the first time on a large scale in Puget Sound.
Another day, another (Pacific sand) dollar
August 25, 2021 Blog post: If you escaped to the Washington’s coastline this summer to beat the heat, you probably walked by the remains of this month’s critter: the Pacific sand dollar.
We're over the moon for the moon snail
April 7, 2017 Blog post: With its easily recognizable shell (the largest found on Puget Sound beaches), we are certainly over the moon for this month's critter: the Moon Snail.
Life’s a beach for the false sandcastle worm
August 25, 2020 Blog post: With its beachy name and sandy dwelling, the false sandcastle worm is the quintessential beach bum.
Resilience and the purple sea urchin
May 25, 2021 Blog post: Purple urchins aren't just faceless purple pincushions — they may have a thing or two to teach us about resilience in the face of challenges.
Going nuts over the peanut worms
January 18, 2018 Blog post: Peanut worms belong to the phylum Sipuncula, meaning "little tube or siphon." They can retract their bodies into a tubular trunk like a balled up pair of socks.
Snuggle up! The common slipper snail gets close for comfort
September 28, 2020 Blog post: The first days of fall are here, and nothing makes me want to pile on the cozy layers like the arrival of the rainy season. This month’s critter embodies the fashion motto of 2020: comfort is IN.
Thrills, spills, and frills: The pink tritonia takes us on a wild ride
February 14, 2022 Blog post: What’s pink, white, and frilly all over? It's the pink tritonia: the walking (or in this case, crawling) embodiment of the excitement — and terror — of blossoming love.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream cone worms
July 14, 2017 Blog post: Ice cream cone worms are easily recognized by their distinct cone-shaped tubes that can be up to two inches long.;-critter-of-the-month-the
Jellyfish in Puget Sound
Jellyfish numbers may be increasing in Puget Sound. You can help us monitor them.
Making progress on air pollution
January 24, 2018 Blog post:

Pierce county's air was unhealthy prior to 2015 but by working together, it now meets air quality standards.
Headed to a lake or river today? Look out for blooming harmful algae!
May 24, 2023 Blog post: Once again, it is time to keep an eye out for harmful algae (cyanobacteria) blooms in Washington lakes and rivers. As the weather heats up, these blooms can happen, especially in late summer and fall.
Smoky siege
September 22, 2020 Blog post:

A look back at the record-breaking wildfire smoke that hit Washington in September 2020.
Unmanned aerial systems (drones)
Unmanned aerial systems are aircrafts or vehicles piloted by remote control or onboard computers.
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