Sea Stars: Tigers of the Tidepools

A few years ago Oregon’s intertidal zone was stacked with sea stars. Their brilliant bodies splashing red, orange, and purple color across rock surfaces when the tide receded. Now, fewer tidepools are brightened by these critters since the outbreak of sea star wasting syndrome occurred along the West Coast.

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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

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