Holothuroidea - Sea Cucumbers

The class Holothuroidea includes the sea cucumbers of which there are about 150 living species.

The sea cucumber has a series of branched feeding tentacles around the mouth that aid in deposit feeding. These feathery tentacles sift sediment for organic matter.

Parastichopus californicus

Parastichopus parvimensis

Cucumbers have the distasteful habit of extruding their intestines and its contents when they perceive a threat known as evisceration. When alarmed, some species of sea cucumbers can expel part or all of their digestive tract or other organs (gonads, respiratory tree, etc.) through their anus. This is done to confuse the predator so the sea cucumber can escape. Some species can discharge an extremely sticky organ called the Cuverian tubules. The sea cucumber is able to regenerate these organs.

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