A weird looking member of a weird group
Parastichopus johnsoni or Johnson's sea cucumber is a benthic animal and which has a very limited ability to swim.
They feed by scooping up ocean floor sediment and filtering out bits of organic waste that have from the pelagic zone. Their mouth is covered with tiny tentacles and cilia for the job.
They earn their place on my blog because of their bright orange coloration with pale white spikes giving it an alien-like appearance. Like other sea cucumbers, Johnson's sea cucumber can eviscerate itself when threatened. If you are wondering "what do you mean eviscerate?" I assure you it is exactly what it sounds like. It spew out its internal organs which stick to the predator. The predator will naturally go for the internal organs and leave the sea cucumber to get away unharmed........ relatively. Yes Sea cucumbers can grow their internal organs back. That's a pretty cool trick.
Sea cucumbers live on the ocean floor from 100m to 650m below sea level in the North East Pacific Ocean.
Species: Parastichopus johnsoni