Are sea cucumbers animals or plants

What is a sea cucumber?

It is not difficult to guess where this animal got its name from: it looks like a vegetable cucumber and lives in the sea. Like starfish, sea cucumbers belong to the echinoderm family. They come in all kinds of shapes and colors. However, because not all sea cucumbers look like cucumbers, they are also called Sea rollers.

At the front they have a mouth opening, which is usually surrounded by tentacles. They use it to “graze” on the ocean floor and wipe the collected plankton in their mouths. They have hundreds of little feet with suction cups on them to move around. However, they are making slow progress.

If you are not that fast, you have to come up with something to avoid being eaten. Some sea cucumbers have a very special trick: if they are touched by an attacker, they throw out part of their internal organs. These are long, sticky threads that hinder and irritate the attacker. In the meantime, the sea cucumber can flee. The organs form again. By the way, sea cucumbers are also eaten by humans. They are considered a delicacy in some Asian countries.

And something else worth knowing: There is one animal that unwantedly likes to be inside sea cucumbers: the Gut fish. Here, too, the name says it all: Mason fish swim through the intestines into the body cavity of the sea cucumber and feed there - you have probably already guessed it - from their bowels. These grow back, but some sea cucumbers have developed small, sharp calcareous teeth in their buttocks as a defense. What is not there!