Pearl fish and sea cucumber relationship counseling

Pearl Fish by TJ Ritz on Prezi

Sea cucumbers are repellant to most predators, which makes them a perfect hiding spot for the Pearlfish. [MEDIA]. Apr 14, Meanwhile, creature B is a pearl fish - a long, eel-like critter. This slimy The sea cucumber has few natural predators (Image: BBC). In a bid to. May 1, Sea cucumbers are found in virtually all marine environments . the pearlfish initiates one of two relationships once inside: a commensal one.

Your average sea cucumber feeds by sucking up ocean sediment like a living vacuum cleaner. Using feeding tentacles, they pick through the sediment and the remaining substrate is passed out the opposite end. A few species will go so far as to extend their feeding tentacles to pick pieces of food out of the passing current they position themselves near.

There is also one species that gains its nourishment through a commensal relationship with deep-sea angler fish, though little is known about this relationship. They generally propel themselves along on small tube feet that make use of echinoderms trademark water vascular system which is essentially a body wide hydraulic system. One subclass, Apodacea, has gone so far as to completely lose their tube feet and instead burrows through sediment with a series of muscular contractions along their body.

All sea cucumbers have an endoskeleton, but in most, it has become greatly reduced to little more than small ossicles sparsely numbered throughout the mesoderm.

Class Holothuroidea, the Sea Cucumbers | MadMikesAmerica

A few species have adopted hardened calciferous plates covering their body for protection, but it is not common. This leaves most sea cucumbers with a rather soft texture that makes one wonder what sort of cucumbers the person was eating who granted these creatures their common name. Many sea cucumbers make perfect use of their squishy bodies when it comes to getting into tight spaces. Their body tissues contain a modified form of collagen known as catch collagen.

Class Holothuroidea, the Sea Cucumbers

In most animals, this provides tissues with a flexible, but strong nature by forming a network of interconnected proteins. Sea cucumbers have modified this protein so that they can become viscous at will allowing them to literally pour their tissues through a tight crevice. Once in, they can let their catch collagen reconnect, reforming their tissues into the orderly form it once was.

They turn their anus at an attacker and through a tear between the coelom body cavity and cloaca the common opening for the intestinal, urinary and reproductive tractsthey expel their respiratory tree which is coated in toxins and a sticky material. This process, known as evisceration, ensnaring the would be predator in what one can only compare to the most nauseating imitation of Spider-Man ever.

These slender fish often cause no harm or benefit to their host and simply use the space to remain hidden within. A few species have been known to.

This bizarre and terrifying-looking sea creature isn't quite what it first seems

A few members of pearlfish have found their home so comfy they invite in their mate. In a disturbing twist, the pearlfish uses the reproductive space of the sea cucumber as its own love abode.

Pearlfish's Gross Hiding Spot... Inside a Sea Cucumber - BBC Earth

For the most part, sea cucumbers possess few traits useful to humans, though the flesh of some species is eaten in certain oriental cuisine. Pearlfish live in the cloaca but can also live in the actual body cavity i. Sea cucumbers use this structure to extract oxygen.

Pearlfish seek out the cloacal opening of the host and then work their way INTO the anus sometimes head first or sometimes tail first, working themselves backwards into the anus of the sea cucumber. Larger pearlfish are found in larger host sea cucumbers.

Only SOME species of pearlfish are commensals in certain species of sea cucumbers. Some are free living and others are not Talk about a bad houseguest! Acanthaster planci Which as we've seen in prior posts Parasitic pearlfish species inside starfish will devour tube feet, stomach tissue, gonads, digestive organs, and etc Reproduction The commensal Carapus doesn't get food from the host-so what benefit comes??

It turns out that that Carapus spp.

Pearlfish's Gross Hiding Spot Inside a Sea Cucumber | Lipstick Alley

The eggs are released via the water currents through the respiratory tree and anus into the water. The juveniles are carried by currents to the open ocean before hatching. Protection It turns out that some pearlfish, such as Carapus actually have increased resistance to the sticky toxins produced by Culverian tubules, which many tropical sea cucumber species spurt out and use to defend themselves The intrusion of pearlfish into the cloaca of the sea cucumber?

Is it possible that the sea cucumber hosts are chosen because of their built in defense systems against predators??? What fish wouldn't want to live in a giant sticky-guts shooting house??