Is Australia’s most pointless animal – the Sea Cucumber?
These “poo” shaped objects litter the floor of the reef. That’s ok when snorkeling above, but on foot, it’s like trying to avoid the cracks in the pavement (whilst maintaining constant vigilance for errant or vindictive Cone shells). They have no natural predators save for themselves (they engage in self-cannibalization – separating in half and eating the other half) and the Japanese, who like them sashimi style with a little soy (as only the Japanese could). According to Jason, their sole reason d’être is to filter water in through one end, removing algae, and squirt it out the other end. Given the vast number, it occurs to me that most of the water I am snorkeling in has been squirted out of the @rse of a Sea Cucumber, lovely. Perhaps the most damning evidence of their pointlessness is the naming convention. Either the marine biologist charged with naming them had a bad hair day or was bored beyond help or blessed with ironic humour (the latter not being a personality trait I would credit those marine biologists I have met with – no offence intended Jason)….here are just 5 types below (some of which I persuaded Olivia and James to hold for photos..others no chance)…
Have a go at naming them…correct scientific nomenclature as follows:
They are of course:
The Sandy Spotted Sea Cucumber;
The Large Black Sea Cucumber;
The Spiked Sea Cucumber…………….Getting the hang of this yet???
The Brown Sea Cucumber (or “The Repulsive” gets you a bonus point)
Enough of this scientific hilarity. My point is I believe well made, no one could possibly love the Sea Cucumber, Australia and the Great Barrier Reef’s most pointless and ugly animal/marine organism… Until I came across a touching scene of my current favorite Reef sea thingy, the blue starfish cuddled up to one…which just goes to prove that other maxim “opposites attract” – clearly!
Signing off now, time to snorkel in Sea Cucumber recycled waters…