Friday, December 7, 2012

Creature Feature: Sea Cucumbers

For some reason, sea cucumbers fascinate me. These critters are echinoderms, though they don’t look much other echinoderms such as sea urchins or starfish. Though named for their resemblance to the cucumbers that you eat, one sea cucumber species is called the Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber for an obvious reason; it looks like a donkey unloaded its bowels underwater. Lovely, huh! Sea cucumbers are most common in sea grass areas, though we’ve seen them around reefs, too. These are couple pictures of sea cucumbers that we’ve encountered in Caribbean waters.

Gross Sea Cucumber Fun Fact: When harassed by a predator, some sea cucumbers can expell tubules that are part of their respiratory system through their anus. These sticky tubules can entangle a predator, and sometimes there’s also a release of a noxious (to the predator) chemical.


  1. Do you like their flavor?

    Jim P

  2. I have commented that we could fill the freezer if we ate these things, but no way - I'm just not that brave/crazy!