There are about 1,250 different species of sea cucumber across the world’s oceans. This is Thelenota anax. And yes, it’s doing what you think it’s doing. Sea cucumber poop is surprisingly important for the ecosystem.
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This one picks up sediment with an array of tentacles and stuffs it into its mouth. Sea cucumbers digest organic material and eject everything else. So, what comes out is actually cleaner than what went in. “Cleaner” sand may prevent algal blooms, which can cause fish to suffocate from lack of oxygen. Also, subtropical seagrass beds appear to grow better wherever sea cucumbers are around. Coral reefs benefit from the alkalinity of the sea cucumbers droppings, buffering them from the effects of ocean acidification. Sea cucumbers don’t look the part, but they have an important role underwater.
Read more in: Watch: Sea Cucumbers Are The Ocean’s Vacuum Cleaners
Sea Cucumber Poop Is Surprisingly Good For the Ecosystem | Nat Geo Wild
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