Sea stars, sea cucumbers and other echinoderms

Awesome Video: Pearlfish and their Sea Cucumber B&B

A POST HERE SEVERAL MONTHS AGO closed with the “Really Odd Fact” that blenny-like pearlfish (Periclimenes imperator) have a habit of taking up residence in the … well…rear ends of sea cucumbers. The overall post, “Sea Cucumbers – Superheroes of the Sea,” was about the fact that sea cucumbers, often ignored as inert, unimportant creatures, actually had a lot to recommend them.  THE PEARLFISH/CUCUMBER EQUATION The pearlfish/cuke interaction is generally described as commensal relationship, but that term implies a

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The Sea Urchin’s Tale

THE (NEARLY IMMORTAL) LIVES OF SEA URCHINS IS THE FOCUS of this terrific video from the terrific folks at PBS’s Deep Look. Like most marine denizens, they endure long – and perilous – journeys as tiny larvae before settling into on some suitable substrate for a life eating algae. Once they transform into adults, they’re pretty much invulnerable, says Deep Look, with life expectancy as long at 200 years. The transformation process is amazing.

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Sea Cucumbers – Superheroes  of the Seas

TO MOST DIVERS, SEA CUCUMBERS WOULD SEEM LIKE THE INACTION FIGURES of the oceans. Mainly, they come off as inert, sausage-shaped lumps lying randomly on the sandy bottom and perhaps the least interesting obects on the reef. In fact, some of them have real Captain Echinoderm moves in them. For one thing, they’re nocturnal so what you see in the daytime isn’t what you’d get at night, when they creep around on their little tube

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Puffers Sleeping, Brittlestars at Work

THE MARKINGS OF THE FISHES AT LEFT AND LOWER RIGHT suggest members of the genus Canthigaster, sharp-nosed puffers often known as toby’s that are found in the Indo-Pacific. But the specific designs and colors are sufficiently different from the familiar black saddled toby (Canthigaster valentini) to suggest they’re not described in any of the references I have access to. CANTHIGASTER POSEIDONSWEBUS   But there are a lot of fishes in the sea, so to speak, and

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Blood Star

BLOOD STARS (HENRICIA SANGUINOLENTA) ARE OFTEN DARK RED, SMALL AND TALKATIVE – well, this one looked like he ought to be, anyway. I always thought that if Pixar made a film featuring this blood star, it should be played by Billy Crystal. I digress. They’re found from the far northern Atlantic to as far south as Cape Hatteras. The book says they’re as big as four inches across. All those I’ve seen, in New England, are

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