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Sea Squirts: Ascidiacea

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (distaplia Cylindrica): Species Accounts, No Common Name (botryllus Schlosseri): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SEA SQUIRTS AND PEOPLE, CONS

NO COMMON NAME (Distaplia cylindrica): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
NO COMMON NAME (Botryllus schlosseri): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
NO COMMON NAME (Didemnum studeri): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Sea squirts live in all oceans and seas.


Sea squirts live at all depths. Most live in shallow water. Some even survive on open shores under strong wave action. Some sea squirts live in ocean trenches as deep as 28,000 feet (8,400 meters). Most species of sea squirts live on rocks, shells, or algae (AL-jee), which are plantlike growths that live in water and have no true roots, stems, or leaves. Some sea squirts live on soft muddy or sandy bottoms. A few species of sea squirts live between gravel grains.

Sea squirts eat bacteria, plankton, and small swimming invertebrates. Plankton is microscopic plants and animals drifting in the water. Invertebrates (in-VER-teh-brehts) are animals without a backbone.


Sea squirts may be a source for chemicals used to make medicines. In some countries, people eat sea squirts. Sea squirts that grow on the bottoms of ships interfere with mussel and oyster farming.

The Philosopher and the Sea Squirts

The Greek philosopher Aristotle studied sea squirts more than 2,300 years ago.

Sea squirts are not considered threatened or endangered.

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