Saturday, December 6, 2008

Camera Critters

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Why do I post a photo of a piece of fish poop? Because it's my favourite invertebrate at Hagenbecks Tierpark and because almost no-one else seems to realize that it's alive. It's a sea cucumber.

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Here it's stretching out its tentacles to sift through the gravel for food.

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That pebble seems to be particularly tasty.

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And it goes on to the next one.

I got to pet a much bigger sea cucumber at the Oregon Coast Aquarium (they have a touch pool full of weird critters, very cool - ever had an abalone suck on your fingers?) and they are not slimy at all but feel like velvet, very soft. It tentacled my fingers and didn't want to let go. Then it pooped in front of a group of fascinated first-graders. *g*
Some sea cucumbers can regurgitate their internal organs when they are attacked as a defensive mechanism. They just grow new ones and can go without feeding for months. They are related to sea urchins and sea stars.

Here's a video of the feeding sea cucumber. The white thing moving behind the sea cucumber's head is a bristle worm.

The Camera Critters Meme has a lot of more critters to look at, go and check it out!

Photos and video published with kind permission of Hagenbecks Tierpark.

19 comments:

crappy bloggers said...

Amazing criatures, thanks for posting them, really original!

i beati said...

interesting post - I read a great one this week on thorny starfishes ruining reefs at National Geographic

sweetnorms said...

beautiful set of photos! I love the video too, wonderful...

Dina said...

Yes, we can tell you love them. :)
Their little "hands" are so cute. I've never seen them in action before. Thanks!

ramblingwoods said...

That is so interesting and what a defense mechanism..loved the video clip too...

Lilli & Nevada said...

I am so glad i read all that because i could not make out what it was thanks for the information

Naturegirl said...

Truly the sea is a facinating place filled with wonders! Thank you for posting this treasure!!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

You just opened my eyes to a new sea creature. Thanks!

Reader Wil said...

Well Jedediah, that was interesting. To me the sea cucumber is a totally unknowm animal. Thanks for sharing.

Tarolino, Finland said...

Great footage. I found myself thinking that if this was fish poo it must have come from no lesser than a great white. Well perhaps Dolphins could produce such thick poos but then they are not fish.
Anyway i really love these pictures and the life beneath the waves is indeed a very interesting one.

babooshka said...

I like your original critter, ad I love sea urchins too. You must like sponges too which are also fascinating.

Ladynred said...

That is interesting critters. I've never seen one like that before. cool video.

Indrani said...

You actually did that!
I have not seen them so close. Thanks for the shots.

Grammy said...

Great photos. I love sea creatures.
This is my first time on Camera critters.
Have a great week.
Grammy

Gretchen said...

Great shots of them. I had no idea what it was til you said sea cucumber. Never saw one before.

b13 said...

That was interesting and a bit freaky. I first heard about sea cucumbers while watching the movie "Jacka**" Thanks for sharing!

Misty Dawn said...

This is an amazing post! I've learned SO much! I luv this post!

me ann my camera said...

Very interesting!

2sweetnsaxy said...

Very cool! I've never seen one of these. I can't get over how many diferent kinds of sea life there are.