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Echinoderms. (Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sand Dollars, Sea Cucumbers). General Stuff. Echinoderms belong to the Phylum Echinodermata, meaning “hedgehog skin”. Echinoderms have spiny skins. They have radial symmetry. They lack body segmentation. There are more than 5000 species of Echinoderms.

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echinoderms

Echinoderms

(Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sand Dollars, Sea Cucumbers)

general stuff
General Stuff
  • Echinoderms belong to the Phylum Echinodermata, meaning “hedgehog skin”.
  • Echinoderms have spiny skins.
  • They have radial symmetry.
  • They lack body segmentation.
  • There are more than 5000 species of Echinoderms.
  • Types are sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sand dollars.
sea stars starfish
Sea Stars- Starfish
  • Have radial symmetry.
  • Most starfish have 5 “arms”or rays.
  • Starfish have tube feet for locomotion, and strong suction to hold them in place.
  • They also have a water vascular system that enables them to store water in their tube feet so they can survive while the tide is out.
  • They breathe through small gills in their skin.
  • Their mouths are located on the underside of their bodies.
  • Starfish can regenerate. (must have the central disc attached).
more starfish stuff
More Starfish Stuff
  • Sea Stars are carnivorous, yup, they eat mostly shellfish, snails, and barnacles.
  • They use their tube feet to pry open the shells and then throw their own stomachs out into the shell to digest the meat before it’s brought back into its body!
  • There are lots of different types of Sea Stars, about 2000 different kinds.
  • Most Sea Stars have spiny skin.
sea urchins
Sea Urchins
  • Sea Urchins look like big pin cushions.
  • They use these spines for protection against predators.
  • The spines also act like stilts to keep their bodies up off the ground so the tube feet can pull them around!
  • They eat mostly algae.
  • They live mostly attached to rocky crevices, which protect them from waves and tide surges.
  • They have become a popular item to eat and are being harvested in alarming numbers.
sand dollars
Sand Dollars
  • Are found on the sandy shore or muddy bottoms.
  • They feed standing on edge with their tube feet acting as filters.
  • The star pattern seen on top of the sand dollars is actually caused by special breathing tube feet!
  • The mouth is found on the under side of the animal.
sea cucumbers
Sea Cucumbers
  • Sea cucumbers have tentacles at their mouth openings to grab and hold food.
  • They look like snails, but have radial symmetry and spiny bodies like all other echinoderms.
  • When provoked, or annoyed, Sea cucumbers throw out their intestines to entangle, frighten, or confuse their predator! Then the intestines are regenerated.They are filter feeders and have a sticky slime that covers their tentacles and lets them grab particles from the ocean floor.
  • Sea Cucumbers are considered a delicacy inAsian cultures.
interesting stuff
Interesting Stuff
  • Some Sea cucumbers are quite poisonous, and the poison has been used as an inhibitor of Cancer growth.
  • Sea Cucumbers secrete a sticky glue as a defense mechanism that has been used as a bandage to bind wounds.
  • Sea Cucumbers will stick each tentacle in their mouths, lick them off and then do the same with the next one- kind of like you licking your fingers after eating!