Presentation on theme: "Parastichopus californicus Also known as: The Giant Red Sea Cucumber Or the California Sea Cucumber Brought to you by: Purple-Urple the Sea Star."— Presentation transcript:
Parastichopus californicus Also known as: The Giant Red Sea Cucumber Or the California Sea Cucumber Brought to you by: Purple-Urple the Sea Star
Hi! My name is Purple-Urple the Starfish! Welcome to the Ocean! Today, I’m going to tell you about my cousin: Squishy, the California sea cucumber (since he’s too shy to talk to you about himself)!
How am I related to Squishy? Here’s a little bit about our family tree: We are both classified members of the Animalia Kingdom because we both have eukaryotic cells and are multi-cellular organisms. We both also belong to the phylum Echinodermata because we both have pentaradial symmetry (see slide #6 for definition), are marine animals, and sea bottom dwellers. We’re different and only cousins because Squishy is part of the class Holothuroidea - he has a reduced skeleton - and other such things, while I am in the class Asteroidea. clip art
Just A… Little …Squishy Squishy was born the same way all sea cucumbers are. His father released his sperm into the water and his mother, her eggs. In the ocean currents, the sperm and the egg met, creating Squishy! But he didn’t settle to the ocean floor instantly. He first had to live as a tiny, 0.25mm large, platonic organism, floating with the current, for four months. Plankton: “It’s not fair - He’s only tiny for four months! I’m tiny for life!!’ clip art
Squishy is now a full-grown California sea cucumber and is about 55 cm long and 5 cm wide, the average size for the largest species of sea cucumbers from Alaska to California. As he just turned four, he began to travel to shallow waters, between April and August, to spawn and have kids of his own. Squishy’s Proportions clip art
Squishy is very lucky. He can live anywhere from the intertidal zone to 250m deep in mud, gravel, shell, rock, rubble or even solid bedrock. He found a nice, rocky shelf 17m deep in an area called Race Rocks. Here, there are thousands of crevasses for him to hide from predators and also tons of food to eat. Squishy’s Habitat and Location One of the many places Squishy can live
Just thinking about food reminds me of how Squishy eats! (The only time I wish that we weren’t related is when I remember his eating habits!) “The Garbage Can of the Sea” - Dive Master Plankton: “Don’t eat me!” Squishy has modified tube feet that are hydraulically-powered and have a sticky surface. He collects algae (first picture) and decomposing matter on these “feeding tentacles” and licks the food off. YUCK!
Neat facts about Squishy (and his family) If you took Squishy out of the water for too long (just a couple of hours), he would start to decompose! Sea cucumbers are at least 400 million years old, but no one really knows for sure because they are made up of such delicate matter that very few of them become fossilized. California sea cucumbers don’t have any real bones. Instead, they have ossicles (plates) scattered throughout their skin, making them very flexible! California sea cucumbers is the only type of sea cucumber that is commercially harvested along the Pacific coast of Canada and the US. Yes, some people eat sea cucumber! They eat their longitudal muscles. These muscles are considered great delicacies in some countries. When you are sprayed by liquid coming out of the sea cucumber it is not salt water like most people think, but coelomic fluid, a special body fluid it produces by itself. Squishy has light sensors all over his body so he can “sense” the amount of light around him.
Thank you very much! For listening to my story about my cousin, Squishy! If you want to learn more about Squishy, his family and the sea cucumbers in general, click on the links below. 1. http://www.racerocks.com/racerock/eco/taxalab/saraht.htmhttp://www.racerocks.com/racerock/eco/taxalab/saraht.htm 2. http://www-comm.pac.dfo- mpo.gc.ca/publications/speciesbook/invertebrates/seacucumb er.htmlhttp://www-comm.pac.dfo- mpo.gc.ca/publications/speciesbook/invertebrates/seacucumb er.html 3. http://library.thinkquest.org/J001418/seacuc.htmlhttp://library.thinkquest.org/J001418/seacuc.html 4.http://www.divebums.com/FishID/Pages/sea_cucumber_californi a.htmlhttp://www.divebums.com/FishID/Pages/sea_cucumber_californi a.html