There are about 1,250 different species of sea cucumber across the world’s oceans. This is Thelenota anax. And yes, it’s doing what you think it’s doing. Sea cucumber poop is surprisingly important for the ecosystem.
Everytime a sea cucumber poops, it’s cleaning the sediment around it, potentially creating benefits for the fish, corals, and other life forms that might also live in its ecosystem. This pooptastic National Geographic video provides a few facts about the process.Then join biologist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with this video: Sea cucumbers are underwater vacuum cleaners.
Next: More filter feeders, including ocean sponges’ incredible filtering power and this pacific razor clam burrowing rapidly into the sand. Plus: More videos about detrivores and so many videos about poop.