Creature Spotlight: Dancing, Flailing Sea Cucumbers

Among the most sighted organisms during the field season’s remotely operated vehicle dives are sea cucumbers, also known as holothurians. A class containing over 250 species, sea cucumbers are highly diverse, and may appear spiky and brightly colored, or smooth and translucent.

The Nautilus Live video below , and this video by  the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer team showcase the extraordinary diversity of sea cucumbers encountered in Windward Passage, and the Marianas, respectfully.

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This sea cucumber was seen at Hadal Ridge in the Mariana Trench on June 21, 2016. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research.
ROV Deep Discoverer encounters a feeding sea cucumber. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research.http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1605/dailyupdates/media/video/0708-cukes/0708-cukes.html

 


Featured image: Sea cucumber off the coast of Puerto Rico, 15 October, 2013. Image courtesy of the Ocean Exploration Trust.

 

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