Learn About Sea Cucumbers

There are 8-10 common species of sea cucumbers on this coast, at least one of which, Parastichopus californicus, is harvested commercially. 

NOTE in many European countries sea cucumbers are named after the vegetable, for example: sea cucumber, concombre de mer, Seegurke, cucumeri di mare (the last of which actually means “melon of the sea”).  This may stem from the time of Roman occupation, as they apparently brought cucumbers (the vegetable) to countries of Western Europe.  Other names for sea cucumbers are trepang in Malaysia and bêche de mer in former French colonies in the Pacific.  Body walls of sea cucumbers are common ingredients in various South-East Asian cuisines, notably soups and stir-fries.  In areas of the South Pacific, the visceral masses are eaten raw, or after cooking or being pickled in lime juice. In Japan, a tasty fermented dish is made from the guts of Stichopus japonicus, following preparation of the body walls for drying and marketing as food. 

© 2010 Thomas Carefoot

map used by snail to find its way home in A Snail's Odyssey

To learn about west-coast SEA CUCUMBER: select a topic from the Echinodermata > Sea cucumbers menu at the top of the page

OR: play the ANIMATION of the snail meeting the SEA CUCUMBER

OR, if you want to see other animations: follow the snail on its ODYSSEY by CLICKING on any X-marked invertebrate on the map

Phylum Echinodermata (lit. “spiny skin” G.) including sea lilies, sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and brittle stars

Class Holothuroidea (name of a “sea cucumber” in G.) including sea cucumbers