Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumbers are echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea. They are marine animals with a leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad. Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor worldwide. The number of holothurian /ˌhɒlɵˈθjʊəriən/ species worldwide is about 1250 with the greatest number being in the Asia Pacific region. Many of these are gathered for human consumption and some species are cultivated in aquaculture systems. The harvested product is variously referred to as trepang, bêche-de-mer or balate. Sea cucumbers serve a useful purpose in the marine ecosystem as they help recycle nutrients, breaking down detritus and other organic matter after which bacteria can continue the degradation process.

Like all echinoderms, sea cucumbers have an endoskeleton just below the skin, calcified structures that are usually reduced to isolated microscopic ossicles (or sclerietes) joined by connective tissue. In some species these can sometimes be enlarged to flattened plates, forming an armour. In pelagic species such as Pelagothuria natatrix (Order Elasipodida, family Pelagothuriidae), the skeleton and a calcareous ring are absent.

The Sea Cucumbers are named for their resemblance to the vegetable Cucumber, but are not related to the Cucumis sativus vine.

Read more about Sea Cucumber:  Overview, Anatomy, Reproduction and Life Cycle, Holothurians As Food and Medicine, Commercial Harvest, Aquaculture, In Art and Literature

Other articles related to "sea cucumber, sea cucumbers, sea":

Sea Cucumber - In Art and Literature
... Sea cucumbers have inspired thousands of haiku in Japan, where they are called namako (海鼠), written with characters that can be translated "sea mice" (an example of gikun) ... In English translations of these haiku, they are usually called "sea slugs" ... According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English term "sea slug" was originally applied to holothurians during the 18th century ...
Lizard Island National Park - History - European
... Lizard Island." Cook climbed the peak on Lizard Island to chart a course out to sea through the maze of reefs which confronted him and the island's summit has since been called ‘Cook's Look’ ... By the 1860s the island was being used by sea cucumber fishermen who found that the waters contained substantial quantities of the creature which was a popular delicacy in Asia ... Captain Watson was a sea cucumber fisherman and during one of his absences Aborigines from the mainland killed one of the servants ...
Sea Cucumber (food)
... Sea cucumbers are marine animals of the class Holothuroidea used in fresh or dried form in various cuisines ... "sea-spade") in French, trepang (or trīpang) in Indonesian, namako in Japanese, and balatan in Tagalog ... Most cultures in East and Southeast Asia regard sea cucumbers as a delicacy ...
Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern - Episodes - Season 3
... weaver ants, forest lizards, fish stomach sauce, deep-fried fish skin, horseshoe crab, sea whelk ... tuna heart and sperm, cuttlefish eggs and pasta with ink, sea snails ... tries Ayurveda and yoga 26 (4) September 30, 2008 Samoa Samoan apple, se'a (sea cucumber intestines), pork pies, mutton, umu-cooked eel, whole pig cooked in 'umu oven, raw tuna eyeballs ...
Sea Cucumber (food) - Types
... attributes male sexual health and aphrodisiac qualities to the sea-cucumber, as it physically resembles a phallus, and uses a defence mechanism similar to ... Sea cucumber dish Fried sea cucumber Braised sea cucumber with mushrooms, pork, and tea eggs Sea cucumber rice roll ...