This tiny coastal fish wears a toothy coat of armor

pacific spinly lumpsucker as viewed from the side

The ocean is full of otherworldly creatures, seemingly from alien planets with alien capabilities. In most cases, the award for craziest looking critter would go to an invertebrate. But many fish are contenders, too, and there’s an oddly adorable one common in northwest waters. What does it look like? Imagine a golf ball. Now put some googly eyes on it and add a suction cup to its belly. 

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UW Environment scientist named 2021 AAAS fellow

A blond woman with glasses and a black blazer smiles at the camera for a headshot

Emily Carrington, resident scientist at the UW’s Friday Harbor Laboratories, was named a AAAS Fellow, according to a Jan. 26 announcement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is among 564 new fellows from around the world elected in 2021, who are recognized for “their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements” in science and engineering. Carrington is honored for her research contributions in biomechanics and ecophysiology, as well as efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in science. 

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Glowing fish teeth answer questions about tooth replacement rates

Emily Carr studies lingcod using a florescent technique called pluse-chase

One of the facts of life for humans is the replacement of baby teeth with permanent adult teeth. Whether pulled out prematurely, wiggled loose by eager hands or naturally falling out unexpectedly, this occasion marks an important milestone in the maturation process that is shared amongst all vertebrates in some form.  Imagine, though, losing and replacing a tooth every single day. 

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Friday Harbor Laboratories' observation system collects and shares real-time data about Salish Sea

The docks at FHL

Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL) recently established the Friday Harbor Laboratories Ocean Observatory (FHLOO), vastly expanding their capabilities to collect and share real-time data about the surrounding marine environment. Connected to the larger Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), FHLOO takes continuous seawater measurements such as salinity, temperature, CO2, oxygen and chlorophyll, in addition to monitoring microplankton. While the system has been taking measurements since the summer of 2020, the ability to live-stream its data is new, providing a window into the Salish Sea accessible to researchers, students and the public. 

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New 3D images of shark intestines show they function like Nikola Tesla’s valve

Two live Pacific spiny dogfish sharks.

Contrary to what popular media portrays, we actually don’t know much about what sharks eat. Even less is known about how they digest their food, and the role they play in the larger ocean ecosystem. For more than a century, researchers have relied on flat sketches of sharks’ digestive systems to discern how they function — and how what they eat and excrete impacts other species in the ocean. 

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