Whitsunday Sea Cucumbers
Sea cucumbers are another type of Echinoderm, you will find these on the sea floor. They are called sea cucumbers because of their shape and leather like skin. They are extremely common in the Whitsunday Islands and you are always likely to see one on the seabed during a dive. They are scavengers of the sea and feed on debris. Sea cucumbers breathe by drawing water in through their anus and expelling it as their respiratory glands are found in their anus. Sea cucumbers have a symbiotic relationship with a pearl fish. The pearl fish lives inside the sea cucumbers anus and cleans away parasites that enter it. Pearl fish have also been known to eat the gonads of sea cucumbers, but luckily for the Sea Cucumber it is an Echinoderm so they grow back!