Common Name: Black Sea Cucumber

Scientific Name: Holothura atra

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Echinoderm

Class: Holothuroidea

Order: Aspidochirotida

Family: Holothuriidae

Genus: Holothura

Species: H. atra

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What is a black sea cucumber? Most people mistake it for a sea sponge or plant, but the sea cucumber is actually an animal. I know that it looks like something that comes from your digestive system. This sea cucumber is very boring but it has some interesting facts. They can grow up to 24 inches long. The species was discovered in 1833. They live in marine and have to have a sandy bottom. They live in the Pacific from the Red sea to Hawaii. They are black with some spots. They are slow moving animals. They are a spiny skinned animal. They are sometimes warty.

 

Most people find them in warm northern waters. They are closely related to urchins and starfish. They are most common in the Indian Ocean and the south west Pacific. Like other sea cucumbers the black sea cucumber can expel sticky white threads to entangle or distract predators. Their mouth which is at one end of their body is surrounded by a crown of 10 to 20 retraceable tentacles. These tentacles can be used to trap passing plankton. The tentacles can stir of sediment like mud that is then swallowed, the food particles removed and the sand is passed out through their body. They use little tube feet to move around and that is why they move like a slug. They are sometimes called the Edible cucumber.

 

Are you wondering how they breathe if they are living? Well, they have small openings kind of like gills and water is fed in and out of them like fish. Are you still wondering how sea cucumbers and starfish are related? Well, they have a five-star pattern. Have a top and bottom face, the bottom face has three arms and a tube foot to move it along the ocean floor, and on the top there are two more arms with tentacles. They may look soft but they are not. . They only move at night to hunt for food. And during the day they bury themselves in sand mud or sit still on rocks. To some people, the cucumber makes a tasty side dish or adding to their food.

 

Author: Morgan L

Published: 03/2008