15 interesting facts about echinoderms


Echinoderms
Echinoderms are called so for a reason

  • In total, there are about 7,000 different species of echinoderms in the world. About 400 species are found in Russian waters.
  • Some extinct echinoderms reached monstrous sizes – up to 20 meters in diameter.
  • Scientists know about 13,000 species of extinct representatives of this type of animal.
  • Without exception, all species of echinoderms lead an exclusively benthic lifestyle.
  • They are very durable. Starfish, for example, are found at depths of up to 8,500 meters.
Echinoderm Facts
Echinoderms in the face of starfish are found at almost any depth
  • Many echinoderms, such as sea cucumbers, are widely eaten.
  • Some of them, such as sea urchins, lead an immobile lifestyle. Others, like starfish, move quite actively.
  • Many echinoderms have remarkable regenerative abilities. Some types of starfish, for example, can actually grow a new body for themselves if they have even one ray left.
  • Representatives of this type of deuterostome owe their name to their appearance. In many of them, the skin is really covered with thorns or spines.
  • Echinoderms are also poisonous. And in some of them, the poison is strong enough to kill a person.
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  • The first echinoderms appeared on our planet about 520 million years ago, long before the first dinosaurs.
  • Some of them are considered harmful species. Crown-of-thorns starfish, for example, destroy corals, and their active reproduction generally threatens them with complete extinction. One adult crown of thorns (by the way, they are very poisonous) can destroy up to 1.5-2 m² of corals per day, absorbing the nutrients it needs from them.
  • Over hundreds of millions of years of evolution, most echinoderms have become smaller than their ancestors, but otherwise have not changed at all.
  • Some of their species are vital for the ecology of the oceans. Sea cucumbers, for example, tirelessly sift the bottom sand and absorb dead organic matter from it.
  • Echinoderms cannot control the composition of the saline fluids of their bodies, and therefore any change in the salinity of the water is deadly for them.

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