When threatened, some sea cucumbers discharge sticky threads to ensnare their enemies. Unfortunately, sea cucumbers come up a bit short when it comes to self defense. Watch this video of a sea cucumber defending itself by expelling its intestines. The tough, leathery skin of the sea cucumber provides good protection. Before we get into the fact, I just want you to know that the sea cucumber is related to the sea star and is actually an animal that is shaped like a cucumber. Sea cucumbers have catch connective tissue, which seems to magically go from being stiff to flexible in mere seconds.
So what do they do if they are approached by a hungry fish? Sea cucumbers are striking members of the phylum Echinodermata, a collection of some 7,000 species of mostly marine invertebrates that also includes sea stars and sea urchins. Sea cucumbers can also be eaten raw, pickled, or fried. Additionally, sea cucumbers are able to camouflage themselves effectively and have developed excellent hiding abilities. Sea cucumbers are harvested for use in food and medicine.


The intestines are toxic and sticky, meant to entrap the predator. Like other sea cucumbers, the Leopard Sea Cucumber has one way of protecting itself – and it’s just crazy enough to work. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1609341113 . What makes this creature so wonderfully disgusting is its remarkable defense mechanism. Top image: A sea cucumber. Some species, like the sandfish, spend the day buried in the sand as a lame attempt at camouflage. Predators of the Sea Cucumber Habitat. I would not be doing anyone a favor if I did not point out that most popular aquarium texts have dire warnings about the dangers of including one of these animals in your reef tank (e.g., Delbeek and Sprung 1994a; Delbeek and … The organs are regenerated in a few days by cells in the interior of the sea cucumber. Sometimes bizarre to human eyes, sea cucumbers have adapted to a mostly slow-moving life at or near the bottom of the ocean. Some species of sea cucumbers are able to discharge sticky threads to trap their predators. Defense One interesting fact about sea cucumbers is that, when disturbed, they may squirt out water and/or their own intestines in defense. Sea Cucumber Defense Responses. Sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea) eject parts of the gut in order to scare and defend against potential predators such as crabs and fish. Because of its vulnerability, the sea cucumber has developed many defense mechanisms through the centuries in order to avoid, trick and repel predators. Unfortunately, sea cucumbers come up a bit short when it comes to self defense. Although most sea cucumber species dwell in areas containing coral reefs, varieties of sea cucumber may be... Primary Sea Predators. Some species, like the sandfish, spend the day buried in the sand as a lame attempt at camouflage. One of … This aspect of the sea cucumber is being studied for its potential application to the … Credits: Maxim Gavrilyuk. Others can mutilate their own bodies as a defense mechanism. Dried sea cucumber, known as bêche-de-meror trepang, is rehydrated and added to recipes like soups, stews, and stir-fries. Humans. The researchers hope to narrow down and isolate the molecules that lead to these properties of the sea cucumber's body wall, which in turn, can help in understanding how to apply this research in medicine and cosmetics.

Evisceration is a method of autotomy involving the ejection of internal organs used by animals as a defensive strategy. Watch this video of a sea cucumber defending itself by expelling its intestines.


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