Saturday, August 16, 2008

Photohunter: Colorful Cucumber




This is a violet sea cucumber (also called a sea apple). They are native to the western pacific and eastern indian oceans. They get their name from the violet ring around their feeding tentacles. Their body may be violet as well (like this guy's) or may be yellow, red, or blue. They use their bright yellow tube feet to move around the ocean floor, and the feeding tentacles to pick up detritus from the sea floor, or filter it from the water column.

The color of the violet sea cucumber is not just for show. When disturbed, like being picked on by a fish, the violet sea cucumber release toxic mucus. Fish and other animals learn quickly not to upset anything that looks like them.

10 comments:

Lori V. said...

Ooooh, I love this guy! Absolutely stunning!

Thanks for coming by and leaving some love for my photos as well!

(As for the clarity of the fireworks photo, I had my tripod with me, because I was taking photos of the nighttime traffic. It was a five second exposure on the tripod.)

http://lorivillarreal.typepad.com/do_you_realize/2008/08/photo-hunt-saturday--colorful.html

Lori V. said...

Also, as a Marine Biology student (and fellow photographer), you might enjoy another shot of another reef fish from another Photo Hunt :-) here:

http://lorivillarreal.typepad.com/do_you_realize/2007/07/photo-hunt-sa-1.html

Have a great weekend!

kaycee said...

Wow, colorful and interesting. i love coming to your site as I always learn something new. Thanks!

Stev&Emz said...

i havent seen a sea cucumber before. that really is very colorful. mine is up here Our Journey and Jaz Another Day

sallyacious said...

What a gorgeous creature. Colorful indeed.

You know, I've had some days where I'm pretty sure I was releasing toxic mucus. And on that note, thanks for visiting.

Marta said...

Great choice for the photohunt. I love your blog - fun and educational. Sea cucumbers are so interesting. We have some pretty interesting sea life up here in the PNW.

Antonette said...

Not only is your photohunt colorful, but informative as well. Thank you for the wonderful comment you left on my photohunt. Take Care.

Criz Lai said...

This is real colorful. Very informative too. Thanks for sharing such great information.

http://crizcats.blogspot.com/

jams o donnell said...

Holy holothurians Batman! What a stunning photo. Happy weekend

Baker Watson said...

Great shot. I always love to see a good photo and get a little education, too.

Baker
(Thanks for the visit and comments. You know I had forgotten that insects that can distinguish UV light may actually see different patterns. I think we so often relate to things based on our own limited senses and our human experiences that we forget other creatures may relate to the world around them in a completely different way...Well, maybe not sallyacious and that toxic mucus, but the rest of us.)