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Sea Cucumber

on May 31, 2012; last updated May 31, 2012
Aquarium Guide - Mini

When surprised by a predator, some sea cucumbers can expel their internal organs along with a sticky substance.

Design

Sea Cucumber

When surprised by a predator, some sea cucumbers can expel their internal organs along with a sticky substance. They then can regrow their innards. Other sea cucumbers can expel all the water in their bodies, becoming hard and small. How would a sea cucumber know to get rid of its insides to escape a predator? This information was programmed into its DNA by its Creator.

Features

  • The sea cucumber is a long, cylindrical invertebrate. It doesn’t have arms; instead it has five double rows of tube feet along the length of its body.
  • The sea cucumber also has spines on its skin.
  • Most are black, green, or brown.
  • It has ten tentacles surrounding its mouth.

Fun Facts

  • The largest sea cucumber measured 6.5 ft (2 m) long.
  • The sea cucumber does not have a brain.
  • Sea cucumbers are considered a delicacy in Far Eastern countries such as Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia.

CLASS: Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers)
ORDER: Six different orders
FAMILY: 23 different families
GENUS/SPECIES: Over 1,100 species

Size: Most up to 16 in (40 cm)
Diet: Plankton, decaying organic matter
Habitat: Found on seafloors worldwide in both tropical waters and cold trenches

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