Sea cucumbers are one of the most bizarre looking animals in the underwater world. They are eyeless, faceless animals that are capable of moving only slowly across the ocean bottom. They filter the water or scrape surfaces to feed on algae and decaying plant material. They range in size from several cm long to more than 2m (6 feet). This one is approximately 45cm in length (1.5 feet).
Responsible for keeping the water clean, they are beneficial to the overall health of the ocean. They also provide food for many animals, and even humans.
This spiny sea cucumber has numerous "feet" that help propel it slowly along. Its mouth constantly works to push food in as it moves. Thousands of tiny suckers on its underside help keep the sea cucumber on the surface on which it is feeding. They also prevent the sea cucumber from being turned over easily. This allows it to stay protected, exposing only the tough, leathery skin on its back.
This sea cucumber lives on a reef in Papua New Guinea. The waters here are home to an abundance of beautiful and unique animals. Crystal clear water makes this place a top ten destination for scuba divers. Rich in culture and history, Papua New Guinea is a wonderful place to explore, both above and below the waves.