Can we eat sea cucumbers?

There’s a funny animal that lives on the floor of the ocean and likes to eat what most of us would only wipe off the bottom of our shoes. It’s name is the sea cucumber. The sea cucumber is an echinoderm and is closely related to sea stars, sea urchins, and sand dollars.To protect itself the sea cucumber will expel its intestines outside of its body to distract predators. The sea cucumber is a prized Japanese culinary tradition used often in soups and stews. Fisheries along the Atlantic coast have been popping up in the past twenty years to sell sea cucumbers.

Check out this video from National Geographic on how they (literally) fight with guts for glory:

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Test your knowledge: Sea stars

Sea star and sea urchin

Image by B.K. Dewey via Flickr

1. True or False: Sea stars are fish.
2. True or False: Sea stars are closely related to sea cucumbers, sea urchins and brittle stars.
3. True or False: Sea stars have a flexible skeleton.
4. True or False: Sea stars breathe through gills.
5. True or False: Sea stars can regenerate most body parts.

(Answers can be found here.)

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