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Strange Creature

Liam Mason liam at achmelvich.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Mar 7 08:19:11 EST 2002

Not only are Holothurians known for eviscerating their guts or releasing
cuvier (long threads), but they also have tentacle-like arms which they
retract into their mouths. The only problem is that I don't know of any
opaque Sea Cucumbers and they don't tend to attach to debris, which leads us
on to...

> "Amy Baco" <abaco at soest.hawaii.edu> wrote in message
> I'm certainly not an expert, but how many striations were there? 5? Sounds
> more like some kind of echinoderm.  Some Holothurians in particular are
> known for squirting out their guts when stepped on or squeezed.

...The Thaliacea (another class of tunicates) are often colonial and can be
brilliantly luminescent, as they have two luminescent organs containing
bioluminescent bacteria. Perhaps these organs were being forced out of the

>From the description it sounds like these animals are ascidians (tunicates)
> that settled out on the plastic.  Because there is no mention of the
> usually obvious siphons associated with solitary tunicates, I would even
> say they might be colonial tunicates.  Of course, this is sheer
> without more info, say a picture or specimens.  Maybe some specimens got
> collected and preserved.
>Larry Lovell

I considered the Cnidaria, but the only the polyp of Cnidaria attach to
object and the description is entirely different from a polyp, which as the
poster noted would be stalked.

>I'm baffled -- it sounds like a cnidarian, but then it doesn't! Was it
>stalked?  Was the stalk consistent with the creature's radial symmetry?
>Was it in fact radially symmetrical (I just assumed)?  Did it have
>tentacles of any sort, along the margin of the bell (or elsewhere)?  Was
>the "mouth" dead center inside >the bell?  Were there any structures at all
>on the body?

All of this is pure speculation of course with seeing the animal!


Liam Mason
liam at achmelvich.fsnet.co.uk - nospam

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