Sea Cucumber (Holothuroidea)
Size – On average, around 6 to 12 inches (15-30cm,) but some species such as the Snake Sea Cucumber (pictured) can be much larger at up to 10ft (3m.)
Sea Cucumbers are long, leathery, marine echinoderms belonging to the class, Holothuroidea.
Their body appears almost as if it is worm-like because they do not contain the arms that other Echinoderms appear to have. They typically have five rows of tube feet (podia.)
They can be found on the deep sea floor in virtually all marine environments.
These Ocean Cucumbers are scavengers in the benthic zone. They eat debris and small food items, as well as floating plankton. They use their little tube feet that surround their mouths to eat.
When in danger, they have the ability to expose their skeletal hook-like spines. This makes them much more difficult for predators to catch and eat. They can also launch toxic organs from their body to fend off attackers.
There are over 1,700 species of holothurians (Sea Cucumbers.)
Their name, of course, comes from their resemblance to Cucumbers.