Aragen Nodalo Grade 11-Prudence

Output No.8
SEA CUCUMBER

III. Synapomorphy
Sea cucumbers has synapomorphies including an anus, mouth, oral tentacles, pentaradial symmetry,
tube feet, ambulacral areas, cuverian glands and no conspicuous endoskeleton. This class has a special
feature known as auto evisceration, in which they have the ability to eviscerate themselves.
IV. Unique Anatomy and Physiology
The sea cucumbers are long-bodied echinoderms with the mouth at or near one end and the anus at
or near the other. Because of their elongation along the oral-aboral plane, they lie on their sides rather
than on the oral surface. In nearly all sea cucumbers the skeleton is reduced to microscopic ossicles
imbedded in the leathery skin. Sea cucumbers have no arms, but tube feet around the mouth have been
modified to form a circle of 10 to 30 tentacles of varying lengths and shapes that function in gathering food
particles from the ocean bottom. The gut of the sea cucumber terminates in a chamber called the cloaca
that opens into the anus. Two unique structures called respiratory trees, found in most sea cucumbers,
also terminate in the cloaca. These are systems of highly branched tubes, one on either side of the body.
The animal pumps water into the respiratory trees by contracting the cloaca, and oxygen diffuses through
from the walls of the trees into the fluid of the body cavity. The madreporite in most sea cucumbers opens
into the body cavity rather than to the outside and receives its fluid from the cavity. In a few sea cucumber
species there is a large mass of tubules at the base of the respiratory tree that can be shot out of the anus
if the animal is irritated. The extruded tubules, which may engulf and incapacitate an intruder, break off;
they are then regenerated by the sea cucumber. In other species the respiratory trees, gonads, and part of
the digestive tract are shot out through the anus; this evisceration is followed by regeneration of the lost
organs.

V. Habitat
Sea cucumbers are found in nearly every marine environment, but are most diverse on tropical
shallow-water coral reefs. They range from the intertidal, where they may be exposed briefly at low tide, to
the floor of the deepest oceanic trenches. They only avoid areas exposed to high wave action, and are
found on all types of bottom, from muddy sand to bedrock.Although sea cucumbers spread out in the
marine environment, all sea cucumbers are ocean dwellers, though some inhabit the shallows and others
live in the deep ocean. They live on or near the ocean floor—sometimes partially buried beneath it.
VI. Nutrition
Sea cucumbers feed on tiny particles like algae, minute aquatic animals, or waste materials, which
they gather in with 8 to 30 tube feet that look like tentacles surrounding their mouths. The animals break
down these particles into even smaller pieces, which become fodder for bacteria, and thus recycle them
back into the ocean ecosystem. Earthworms perform a similar function in terrestrial ecosystems.
VII. Reproduction
Sea cucumbers can breed sexually or asexually. Sexual reproduction is more typical, but the process
is not very intimate. The animals release both eggs and sperm into the water and fertilization occurs when
they meet. There must be many individuals in a sea cucumber population for this reproductive method to
be successful. Indeed, many parts of the deep ocean host large herds of these ancient animals, grazing
on the microscopic bounty of marine waters.
VIII. Trivia
If You Put A Sea Cucumber In Fresh Water It Will Explode
Sea Cucumbers Can Puke Their Guts Out- Literally
A sea cucumber can grow a new tentacle in three weeks if they lose one.
Sea cucumbers squirt out their innards in defense when threatened.
They have five-part radial symmetry.
Sea cucumbers have ten tentacles around their mouth.

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