California sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus)

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 Coldwater Marine Aquatics recommends you keep these animals in 55F-60F water.

Physical description

The giant California sea cucumber can grow to a length of 50 cm and a width of 5 cm. It has a soft, cylindrical body, with red-brown to yellowish leathery skin. It has an endoskeleton just below the skin. The mouth and anus are on opposite ends of the body. The mouth is surrounded by twenty retractable tentacles that are used to bring food in. Five rows of tube feet extend from the mouth to the anus. Mobility is limited, though individuals can move up to 4 m per day while feeding. They use their tube feet located on the underside of their body.

Feeding habits

The giant California sea cucumber is a scavenger that feeds on plankton and other organic matter. They feed by sifting through sediments with their tentacles, or by positioning themselves in a current where they can use their tentacles to catch food flowing by.

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