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Omega Nu of Santa Cruz
Mollusk Mates: A Coloring Page Series by Katherine Dale
Explore the diversity of mollusks found around the world in a new coloring page series, Mollusk Mates. Created by Katherine Dale, a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, Mollusk Mates offers insight into mollusk research, reveals fun facts about individual species, and allows aspiring artists to color a beautiful masterpiece! Mollusks are invertebrates, animals without backbones, and belong to the phylum Mollusca. Mollusk Mates is a free at-home activity available for download.
Meet Katherine Dale, the Artist
Katherine Dale, Ph.D. Candidate
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz
I am a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Cruz. Using eels as a model system, I’m looking to understand how larval fish disperse in the ocean. Although most of my time is spent with fish, I love everything about the ocean, including mollusks! Early in my Ph.D. program, I started an art-science campaign, Fish Matter, featuring black-and-white line art of typically overlooked or unpopular marine organisms. In this collaboration with the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, I have created a series of mollusk coloring pages showcasing the phylum Mollusca’s amazing diversity. Enjoy!
Find more from Katherine at:
Frilly Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosina)
Dan Killam, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona
Frilly Giant Clam (Photo credit: Bernard Dupont) Dan Killam, Ph.D.
Meet the Scientist, Dan Killam, Ph.D.
I have investigated giant clams found in the Red Sea since 2015, which includes my time and Ph.D. research conducted at UC Santa Cruz. Like the growth rings found in trees, growth lines are formed on the shells of giant clams. The growth lines allow scientists to learn more about the clam’s age, growth rate, or other critical information about its surrounding environment. I studied the growth lines to compare the growth rate of modern giant clams to fossil records. Continuing this work during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Haifa, I discovered modern clams in the Red Sea are growing faster than observed in the fossil record. However, modern giant clams’ overall health remains unknown because the influence of environmental stressors, such as pollution, ocean acidification, or rising ocean temperatures, have yet to be studied on giant clams — until now!
You can now find me at Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, where I grow giant clams within a controlled coral reef ecosystem to understand how giant clams act as recorders of their environment. The giant clam’s shell can record temperature changes and nutrient fluctuations in the surrounding water. I’ll use this information to create a complete life history of the clam and protect the ocean from environmental stressors.
Find more from Dan at:
- Website: dantheclamman.blog/about/
Discover the many ways an animal can blend into its habitat, and then create your own camouflage strategy!
Create your own realistic bat star, and learn about the features that help these animals see, eat, and move around!
Curious to see what a REAL bat star looks like? Watch this Creature Feature to find out!
Purple Sea Urchin’s Aristotle’s Lantern
Learn about and create a purple sea urchin with an Aristotle’s lantern!
Ocean Acidification Experiment
Follow along with this DIY at-home experiment to explore the effects of ocean acidification on shelled sea creatures. Watch to learn about the research at UC Santa Cruz that investigates this problem and the things we can change in our daily lives to minimize our carbon footprints—then try the experiment out for yourself!
Learn more about these color-changing cephalopods and craft a festive octopus garland. Display the garland proudly and fully immerse yourself into the sea!