Movies

Underwater Dust Mop

Detritus might be one of the least exciting parts of the food web, but the amazing color, shape, and behavior of some detritus eaters, like this California sea cucumber, make up for that.

This relative of sea stars and sea urchins crawls along the bottom picking up detritus with its tentacles and stuffing it into what might loosely be called a mouth. You can see a sea cucumber feeding in its natural habitat in this very short video captured by Laura James off Alki Beach, West Seattle.

You can see some of Laura's other amazing videos at Beneath the Looking Glass.

The California sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus) is one of the more commonly eaten sea cucumbers, and it is occasionally seen by beach walkers at extreme low tides. The sea cucumber you're more likely to see on the West Coast at low tide is the orange sea cucumber (Cucumaria miniata) which often wedges itself between rocks, and when the tide is in, it uses its tentacles to grab plankton out of the water.

Another unrelated fact about for the curious, a sea cucumber doesn't "breathe" through its mouth, it uses its other end for that.

The California sea cucumber can also be seen feeding in the movie Return of the Plankton by Still Hope Productions.

Comments are closed.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Recent Media Articles

Expanding Horizons

We’re ending 2016 by including a new emphasis in the SEA-Media family: interconnectedness. This article exemplifies this theme with 3 very different, but related movies.

Read More »

Bering Sea Expeditions

Tag along to see some of the logistics, some of the science, and assorted highlights of doing fieldwork in an environment that most people never get to see, the Bering Sea.

Read More »

Be A Salmon for a Minute

Struggle to get upstream to find a good place to spawn…

Read More »

Tracy & Felt
Tracy & Felt

Tracy & Felt: a new web series that uses fun and humor to explore “the magical and not-to-distant world of science and nature.”

Read More »

World Fish Migration Day 2016

Videos will be streamed all day during World Fish Migration Day on May 21, 2016 to call attention to the needs of migratory fish.

Read More »

Subscribe