Marine sediment story maps:
April 28, 2021 Blog post: Our Marine Sediment Monitoring Team just released five new interactive story maps detailing their work to monitor the health of Puget Sound sediments.
Our scientists contribute to “global biodiversity library”
August 30, 2019 Blog post: Last week I was in sunny Los Angeles for the third and final west coast invertebrate “bioblitz” of the summer — the LA Urban Ocean Expedition (LAUOE).
How we help Puget Sound
We protect and restore Puget Sound through a wide variety of programs and activities.
Puget Sound sediments
Our scientists study marine sediments and the animals that live there.
Studying Puget Sound benthos
April 7, 2014 Blog post: Our sediment team scientists examine the benthic community condition throughout Puget Sound and look at changes over time.
Puget Sound science
We study Puget Sound to detect human impacts and to target prevention and cleanup efforts.
The "unicorn" shrimp is pure magic
June 13, 2018 Blog post: Nebalia pugettensis is a tiny crustacean that lives on the sea floor, with a horn-like rostrum and leg-like appendages that function as lungs.
Making a stink: the Pacific stinkworm
June 10, 2016 Blog post: When disturbed, Travisia pupa, the stinkworm, as its name suggests, gives off a pungent odor similar to rotting garlic.
The cactus worm
January 29, 2016 Blog post: This month’s critter may look like a cross between a worm and a cactus, but it is actually neither.
Stuck at home? Get cozy like the tunicate amphipod
April 23, 2020 Blog post: Meet the tunicate amphipod, a critter that embraces the comforts of home like no other.
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.
Our taxonomists “name that species!”
May 29, 2015 Blog post: Meet the two new taxonomists that recently joined the monitoring team, Dany Burgess and Angela Eagleston.
All you need is mud! The sea mouse is muddy but mighty
February 9, 2018 Blog post: The sea mouse may be brown and fuzzy, but that is about all it shares with its mammalian namesake. Believe it or not, the sea mouse is actually a marine segmented worm, or polychaete.
The seed shrimp are more than meets the eye
April 1, 2016 Blog post: This month we bring you an entire group of nifty little critters collectively known as the ostracods, or seed shrimp.
Shifting sands: The sand star is born to run
May 3, 2016 Blog post: If you’ve ever been to an aquarium or explored a tide pool, then this Critter of the Month is no stranger to you!
Ring in the New Year with the black-eyed hermit crab
January 6, 2017 Blog post: The black-eyed hermit is never far from home, because it carries it along. Hermit crabs find protection from predators inside empty snail shells.
It's field work time!
May 1, 2018 Blog post: Sediment monitoring field season is a perfect opportunity to talk about how we collect Puget Sound critters.
Babies of the Benthos – Worm Edition
April 6, 2021 Blog post: In this Critter edition, let’s dive into the “birds and the bees” of benthic worms, and the resulting faces that only a mother (or an invertebrate taxonomist) could love.
Put a bow on it: Elevate your gift-wrapping game with the ribbon worms
December 22, 2020 Blog post: This year, when you spend more time wrapping your holiday gifts than picking them out, think about a group of critters who have taken their gift-wrapping game to the next level: the ribbon worms.
The spiny pink scallop is ready for sweater weather
September 26, 2019 Blog post: This particular scallop is known for its bright color and the prominent spines that adorn the ribs running down its shell.
The dumbbell worm
June 12, 2015 Blog post: The dumbbell worm is tiny, ranging from 15 to 20 millimeters long and about 5 millimeters wide. Its belongs to class Polychaeta within the phylum Annelida.
The dove snails bring peace and good shell to all
December 19, 2018 Blog post: Dove snails don't look much like their avian namesake – except for the teardrop shape of their shells.
Having a bad hair day? The hair worms can relate
October 31, 2016 Blog post: The hair worms belong to a family of polychaetes called Cirratulidae, and their tangled hairs are actually branchiae, external gills that occur in pairs along their bodies.
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.
Things that go bump in the night: the sea spiders look a fright
October 26, 2017 Blog post: Sea spiders have segmented bodies, hard exoskeletons, and long, thin legs like land spiders, but they are not closely related.
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.
Pea crabs, the ultimate unwelcome houseguests
August 19, 2016 Blog post: Pea crabs are very tiny. They can be found inside oysters, marine worms, or — especially in the Pacific Northwest —in ghost shrimp burrows.
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.
Celebrate Pride! The ornate tube worm sports all the colors of the rainbow
June 27, 2019 Blog post: Our benthic taxonomists share details on critters in sediment habitats, including life history, and the role each critter plays in the community. This month's focus is the Ornate Tube Worm.
Don’t go breaking my heart, crab!
February 10, 2021 Blog post: As rare and wondrous as true love itself, the heart crab maintains a quiet existence, delighting the hearts of those lucky enough for a chance encounter.
Sound-to-table? The sweet potato sea cucumber is a produce impersonator
October 11, 2016 Blog post: With its smooth, plump body, this month’s critter bears a resemblance to items you might find in a grocery store. Meet Molpadia intermedia, the Sweet Potato Sea Cucumber.
Bend, but don’t break: The bamboo worms flex and flourish
June 22, 2021 Blog post: Since June encompasses three outdoorsy occasions, let’s get our hands dirty and talk about an incredible group of animals that resemble a truly incredible plant: the bamboo worms.
Riddle me this: What is a glistenworm?
July 15, 2016 Blog post: The glistenworm is a shell-less, footless mollusk that burrows into marine sediments by digging with the shield around its mouth.
Life is stressful at the bottom of Bellingham Bay
January 8, 2014 Blog post: The communities of small invertebrates, also known as benthos, living in the sand and mud at the bottom of Bellingham Bay are showing signs of stress.
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.
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.
May the ‘stache be with you – celebrate Movember with the shovelhead worm
November 16, 2020 Blog post: This month, let’s pay homage to the most fan-stache-tic of facial adornments (and be mindful of Movember’s mission) with Puget Sound’s mustachioed mud-dweller: the shovelhead worm.
The gaper clams live in the shadows of giants
July 27, 2021 Blog post: Nothing says “summer” like digging for clams in Puget Sound, but finding a gaper clam often brings disappointment. Geoduck hunters, don’t despair — the humble gaper is a treasure in its own right.
Brighten your holiday season with the northern opalescent nudibranch
December 11, 2019 Blog post: This month’s aquatic critter looks like a luminous holiday spirit carrying dozens of flickering candles. Definitely don’t try this at home, no matter how festive the effect might be!
A moment in the sun for the common sun star
August 11, 2017 Blog post: With its bright sun-like appearance, the common sun star is one of the more beautiful creatures in Puget Sound.