Friday, January 14, 2011

January 14, 2011 : Swimming Sea Cucumber

Swimming Sea Cucumber

Sea cucumbers resemble large, leathery slugs that typically amble across the seabed. Unusually, Enypniastes has developed webbed swimming structures at the front and back of the body, and can swim long distances of up to 1,000m (3,280 ft) up into the water column.

They are brilliant red in colour, with a soft, delicate, transparent body, through which their intestine and other internal organs are visible.

Their mouths are surrounded by tentacles which are used to gather sediment from the sea floor.

Sea cucumbers are capable of swimming up from the bottom by undulating the cape-like structure around the top of the animal. They are graceful, slow swimmers.

When attacked by predators, they produce bioluminescence across their entire body surface, before shedding the sticky glowing skin as a distraction ploy.

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