Sea cucumbers are related to sea stars and sea urchins they are echinoderms, or spiny skinned creatures. Like most of their relatives they live on the bottom. Some are seagrass dwellers in shallow water while others live at the bottom of the deepest oceans. They perform a function much like the earthworm does on land.

 

Sea cucumbers feed on tiny particles that they bring to their mouth with tube feet, just like sea stars and sea urchins. Like their relatives they have a radial or star body design however instead of being flat or round they are a stretched into cylinder shape.

  

There are a couple more things about sea cucumbers that are special. Because they cannot escape predators easily they have a neat trick of throwing up all of their insides in a sticky tangle of threads. If they escape their internal organs eventually grow back again.

 

 A strange relationship with the pearl fish has evolved with some sea cucumbers. The pearl fish finds a home in the backside of the sea cucumber! They don't hurt their host but live together in harmony.

  

What you need:

  • Find something of a cylindrical shape like the illustrated packing material. (Note that this packing material is designed to be recycled)
  • Paint that is suitable for the material to show tube feet holes
  • Tape

 

What to do:

  • Gently fold together the ends and tape
  • Paint lines lengthwise down the cylinder until a star is formed at both ends (one is the mouth and the other, well, you know)
  • Paint dots to indicate where tube feet emerge from the body
  • Create some tube feet tentacles at the mouth