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Golden sea cucumber

Golden sea cucumber

Golden sea cucumbers are small, soft-skinned sea cucumbers, each with up to 10 tentacles resembling small trees. 

They spend most of their lives covered in sand, with only their tentacles protruding above the surface. If no suitable sandy environment is present, they will dwell in the gaps between other sea cucumber species, mussels and ascidians. 

Their tube-feet are small, and weak compared to other common sea cucumbers, and are arranged randomly over their whole body. These weak tube-feet are suited for digging into sand, but have poor adhesion to other surfaces, so it is quite common to see golden sea cucumbers washing up on shores after heavy storms.

Like many other sea cucumbers, golden sea cucumbers are able to expel their toxic guts when threatened. This species is particularly prone to doing this when stressed - but fortunately, sea cucumbers are well equipped to regrow their lost organs.

Grows up to 13cm.
Occurs only as a native species in Southern Africa.