PacSci Perspectives

Sea Cucumber Evisceration

by | Dec 22, 2016

Sea Cucumber

Burrowing sea cucumber (Cucumaria miniata) expressing branching tentacles – not guts.

The recent addition of a California sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus) to Pacific Science Center’s Puget Sound Salt Water Tide Pool compelled Living Exhibits Manager Sarah Moore to compose a poem for the Science Education staff. The poem is reprinted below.

For a more scientific explanation of sea cucumber evisceration, please follow this link.

By Sarah Moore

You probably know – the sea cucumber shuts out
Potential predation by spewing its guts out
This evisceration is more than just poo
It can squirt out its waste – and its body parts too!
We’ve heard that you’re worried and we can commiserate
You don’t want to do things that make it eviscerate
But we hope this will make you less worried my friends
Science now thinks they do this each year, as a cleanse!
Still no touching them please, it’s just common sense
What they do for their health also works for defense
Invite folks to look, but no touching please
No gentle touches, and of course never squeeze!
Don’t use them as squirt guns. You know it’s not right!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night