Story: Starfish, sea urchins and other echinoderms

Common sea cucumber

Common sea cucumber

Only one species of sea cucumber is common around the New Zealand coast. This is Stichopus mollis, or rori. A soft-bodied, sluggish creature, it moves over rocky reefs gathering up sediment and organic debris in its tentacles. Its major defensive action is, remarkably, to expel its digestive organs through its bottom. This would be a fatal action for any other animal, but the sea cucumber can regenerate its internal organs.

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NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Photograph by Malcolm Francis

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Starfish, sea urchins and other echinoderms - Other echinoderms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 August 2022)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006