Tuesday, November 6, 2007

synaptic cucumber @ cyrene

Was plodding along Cyrene and came across this unusual sea cucumber...a synaptic sea cucumber looking for food. It's actually feather-light as it fills itself up with seawater to give it some shape. If one were to try to pick it up, it deflates itself by expelling all the water out. You can see the feeding tentacles around it's mouth which are very active as can be seen from the video clip. Synaptic Cucumbers like this one are smooth skinned and lack obvious tube feet. Most other sea cucumbers appear hairy because of their tube feet. Sea cucumbers generally feed on detritus...either deposited on/within the substrate or suspended in the water. Sea Cucumbers are generally poisonous (not venomous) except for those few species which are sold for food.

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