Strange Creatures Cast Ashore: Velella Velella

In winter and spring, Oregon’s beaches can turn a vivid hue of purplish blue thanks to the invertebrate Velella velella. Also known as “By-the-Wind Sailor,” they are a living blue boat at the mercy of the winds. Storms blow these odd creatures with melodious names ashore, stranding them in uncountable numbers. Read More

Strange Creatures Cast Ashore: Salps

Perhaps you’ve seen one of these gelatinous creatures washed up onto one of Oregon’s beaches. Though they resemble jellyfish without tentacles, they belong to a group of animals known as tunicates, commonly called sea squirts. Guest author Stephen Grace shares this story and some of his photos with us. Read More

Sea Anenomes: Deadly Beauties

The sea anemones that paint Pacific Northwest tidepools with color look like tranquil flowers but are, in fact, predatory animals. They are cousins of jellyfish, coral, and siphonophores like the Portuguese man o’ war. Read More

Rise of the Jellyfish

Like nettle plants on land, Pacific sea nettles can leave a similar sting. Recently, ODFW habitat researchers ran into swarms of them while doing acoustic surveys south of the Cascade Head Marine Reserve. Check out the video. Read More