Mollusks, Worms, Sponges, Starfish

How to Create a Virtual Organism

Through OpenWorm, scientists are hoping to allow anyone with a computer to unlock the secrets of animal behavior

Sunflower sea stars are just one of 20 species affected.

Meet the Tiny Killer Causing Millions of Sea Stars to Waste Away

The deadly sea star wasting disease, which turns live animals into slimy goop, is caused by a previously unknown virus

An artist's interpretation of what Hallucigenia sparsa looked like.

This Weird, 500 Million-Year-Old Spiky Worm With Legs Actually Has a Descendant

Modern-day velvet worms' jaws are repurposed former claws

This worm is sober.

Worms Can Get Drunk, But Not These Mutant Worms

The gene could also, theoretically, be modified in humans to prevent some of the effects of booze

Jellyfish glow with the flow in the Gulf of Maine and the Weddell Sea.

Bioluminescence: Light Is Much Better, Down Where It’s Wetter

From tracking a giant squid to decoding jellyfish alarms in the Gulf, a depth-defying scientist plunges under the sea

Frilled Shark

The Scariest Monsters of the Deep Sea

We took the spook-tacular celebration to the depths of the ocean, where some of the craziest—and scariest—looking creatures lurk in the dark

"If we don't do something," says Knowlton, who has earned the nickname Dr. Doom, "we could lose all corals by 2050."

A Coral Reef's Mass Spawning

Understanding how corals reproduce is critical to their survival; Smithsonian's Nancy Knowlton investigates the annual event

As ocean water becomes more acidic, corals and shellfish must spend more energy to make their calcium carbonate shells.

A Swim Through the Ocean's Future

Can a remote, geologically weird island in the South Pacific forecast the fate of coral reefs?

At an 18th-century auction in Amsterdam, Vermeer's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter sold for about one-third the amount that its owner spent to obtain a then rare Conus gloriamaris shell.

Mad About Seashells

Collectors have long prized mollusks for their beautiful exteriors, but for scientists, it’s what inside that matters

Geoduck can be blanched, stir-fried or cooked up in chowder.

How to Cook a Geoduck

It not only doesn't taste like chicken, it's not even poultry. Learn how to cook a geoduck, a large clam

They may not be beautiful, but geoducks fetch a pretty price.

Geoducks: Happy as Clams

In the Pacific Northwest, fishermen are cashing in on the growing yen for geoducks, a funny-looking mollusk turned worldwide delicacy


Foreign Worm Alert

Aliens are tunneling through North America. Who'd have thought these earth tillers have a downside?

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