Day #34- Sand dollars
We decided go snorkeling after spending the day at the sea shore. We wanted to see if we could find sand dollars in the ocean and not just their exoskeletons on the beach! And goodness, we were so excited to see real live sand dollars! We bet most people don’t know that they’re animals even! We learned so much about these invertebrates!
Their range and habitat: sandy floors, oceans in the Northern Hemisphere
Their length: up to 3″ Their status: Common
They are omnivores- crustaceans, copepods, algae
- Sand dollars are echinoderms- they are related to sea stars and sea cucumbers.
- Sand dollars are covered in tiny purple spines.
- Some of the sand dollar’s spines also act as gills.
- They have a mouth with teeth like structures that grind up food. They can chew their food for up to 15 minutes.
- Sand dollars can live up 10 years.
- They are also called sea cookies and snapper biscuits in other parts of the world.
We found this great video (it’s not in English) of a sand dollar eating copepods! You can see the little feet push food towards it mouth! Did you know that a sand dollar’s bum in on the top? How cool is that? Remember when you visit the beach that it’s better to leave the live sand dollars there. If you find a white exoskeleton, then consider yourself lucky!