Hunted nearly to extinction for their thick pelts, the mammals live an indulgent life, spending their days floating on their backs, eating a quarter of their weight in clams and crabs, and, for at least 15 percent of their waking hours, grooming their luxurious fur.
Named for an Olympic Peninsula town near Sequim, the crustaceans have to shed their shells several times a year until they reach adult size, at which point the males become prey for crabbers who use pots, nets, and their bare hands in the hunt.
Puget Sound’s “gooey duck” is the biggest burrowing clam in the world, averaging more than two pounds apiece, and is considered a delicacy, sometimes even an aphrodisiac, in Asia.
Scientists finally identified the densovirus that was causing sea stars to waste away in Northwest tide pools, and they now hope the next generations of rock clingers will be immune.
The sparrow-size fowl can be frightened away from their nests by people, dogs, or even a looming kite, but the scaredy-birds are making a comeback
after reaching dangerously low levels.
The little blue bivalves cram onto tidal rocks and pilings like Amazon programmers at a Brave Horse happy hour, and they’re tasty as long as they don’t have paralytic toxins.