Sea Cucumbers: Holothuroidea
Sea Pig (scotoplanes Globosa): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: Sea pigs are clear sea cucumbers 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long. They have ten tentacles and a few large tube feet. The tube feet on the top side of sea pigs are two widely spaced antennalike pairs. The other tube feet are arranged in a row around the edge of the bottom side of the animal. The pieces of the body wall skeleton are smooth to spiny rods and smaller C-shaped rods. Sea pigs are also called sea cows because the tube feet on the top side of the body look like cattle horns.
Geographic range: Sea pigs live all over the world except the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean near Central and South America.
Habitat: Sea pigs live in the deep ocean.
Diet: Sea pigs eat food particles they find in the sand.
Behavior and reproduction: Sea pigs move above the bottom using long tube feet. These sea cucumbers form large groups. Sea pigs feed by using their tentacles to push sand or mud into their mouth. Scientists do not know how sea pigs reproduce.
Sea pigs and people: Sea pigs have no known importance to people.
Conservation status: Sea pigs are not considered threatened or endangered. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Carson, Rachel. The Edge of the Sea. 1955. Reprint, Boston: Mariner, 1998.
Niesen, Thomas M. The Marine Biology Coloring Book. 2nd ed. New York: HarperResource, 2000.
Summers, Adam. "Catch and Release: Sea Cucumbers Might Put a Torn Achilles Tendon Back Together Again." Natural History (November 2003): 36–37.
"Frequently Asked Questions of the Sea Cucumber." Charles Darwin Research Station. http://www.darwinfoundation.org/marine/FAQcuke.html (accessed on March 14, 2005).
"Sea Cucumbers." Thinkquest. http://library.thinkquest.org/J001418/seacuc.html (accessed on March 2, 2005).
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