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the ocean floor cleaner Sea Cucumber

Hear all about it!

Sea cucumbers are very slow moving animals. They lie either on the sea bottom, on the reef, in reef crevices, or burrow in the sand.

They move by using five double rows of tube feet on its body to crawl along. Most shallow water species are nocturnal feeders. This animal feeds by lengthening and shortening the ten to twenty tentacles (which are really modified tube feet) near its mouth. It uses them to catch food and sweep it into its mouth.

The expelled waste looks like a long sand coloured worm and can often be seen trailing behind the animal.        It is estimated that 50% of the sand grains found in the world’s oceans have passed through a sea cucumber at some stage in its existence!

Threats include; human disturbance (standing on reef and coral, collecting) and pollution.

Where you can find a Sea Cucumber

Conservation Status

The waters around Rottnest Island are a designated Marine Reserve. Also, some parts of Rottnest’ coral reefs are included the Marine Sanctuary Zones shown in the Rottnest Island Marine Management Strategy (2007).

  • Extinct
  • Extinct in Wild
  • Critically Endangered
  • Endangered
  • Vulnerable
  • Near Threatened
  • Least Concerned

Help keep Rottnest’s beaches and reefs healthy

  • Do Not stand on reef and coral while snorkelling or diving
  • Do anchor only in sandy areas of water
  • Do take litter with you or use bins provided
  • Do collect fishing line if seen in ocean or on shores

Got a suggestion?

We're always open to feedback on how we can improve Rottnest Island for our visitors and wildlife!