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  • Writer's pictureKatie Koher

Sea Science Saturday- Clypeasteroida

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

🧜🏼‍♀️🌎 Sea Science Saturday 🧜🏼‍♀️🌎 Everything has its place and purpose!

Sand Dollars/mermaid coins (Clypeasteroida)

🚨Whether you are hanging out at a sand bar or beach combing on this holiday weekend, please be respectful of our marine life and do not remove living creatures from their home . Please admire their beauty and return them quickly. Sand Dollars die within minutes of being removed from their home . Taking a living sand dollar and killing it could disrupt the local ecosystem. 🚨

🧜🏼‍♀️🌎 If a Sand Dollar is brown with lots of spines it is likely alive and in many places against the law to keep . If you find one that is grey or white with no spines , it is dead and it is NOT against the law to keep them as a treasure .

🐡These beautiful creatures are marine invertebrates that belongs to the group of echinoderms. They are closely related to sea stars, sea cucumbers and sea urchins.

🧜🏼‍♀️Sand dollars use spines and tiny appendages (cilia and tube feet) to collect food and guide it toward the mouth. They sometimes chew food 15 minutes before it becomes ready for swallowing and further digestion.

🦐 Sand dollars eat detritus, plankton, crustacean larvae, copepods, algae and diatoms.

🐠Sand dollars use spines on the upper side of the body for breathing (like gills).

🏝 Sand dollars often gather in large groups. One square meter of sand can be covered with more than 625 sand dollars.

🐌 Natural enemies of sand dollars are predatory snails, sea stars and various fish (skates, starry flounders and wrasses).

If you'd like to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat and learn more about them and the many other amazing marine life that SWFL area has to offer, please call us to book an Eco Tour! We'd be happy to share more of our knowledge and beautiful marine life with you!

Glass Bottom Rentals

5810 Gasparilla Rd, Placida, FL 33936

(Located on Gasparilla Island/Boca Grande)


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