Project Description

It was interesting to spot this unusual speckled orange sea cucumber (Cucumaria miniata), as the vast majority of these sea cucumbers are solid orange.  This suspension feeder has its tentacles extended outward into the ocean current, and slowly one tentacle is drawn towards the mouth and placed inside so captured particles can be swept off.  This cleaned tentacle is then released back into the current and the process starts again with another tentacle at a slow fluid pace.  Rock crevices are often used by the orange sea cucumber as an ideal location to anchor itself to the ocean floor.  The orange sea cucumber grows to about ten inches (25 cm) long, with a range from northern Alaska to northern Mexico.