This sea creature breathes through its butt - Cella Wright
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To learn more about sea cucumber biology, poop, and ecological value, you can visit this National Geographic page, which includes a video of a sea cucumber excreting its sandy waste.
Sea cucumbers are able to quickly regenerate their tissues after evisceration. This has fascinated scientists for some time. You can read more here to learn about what genes may be responsible for this feat.
Sea cucumbers also have great cultural importance, especially in the culinary realm. In China alone, sea cucumbers have been eaten for some 1,800 years. Back in the 1600s, politician and poet Wu Weiye wrote that, although no one was certain whether they were worms, or fish, or even plants, sea cucumbers could be eaten to promote health. (Indeed, they’re a nutritious protein – you can read more about that here.)
Today, Chinese sea cucumber divers risk their lives in order to meet a seemingly insatiable market demand. Over-exploitation of sea cucumbers has become a huge problem across the globe. You can read more here to learn about how sea cukes are harvested in the wild, the role of aquaculture, and the conservation efforts being made.
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