Deep Sea Echinoderms
mortal are addicted in some Asian cuisines.
are imperative both biologically and geologically: biologically
because little other groupings are so copious in the biotic
desert of the deep sea, as well as the shallower oceans, and
geologically as their coalesced skeletons are major contributors
to many mineral formations, and can supply important hint
as to the geological atmosphere. Promote, it is seized by
some that the emission of echinoderms was dependable for the
Mesozoic uprising of aquatic life.
subdivisions of Echinoderms are customarily recognized: the
more familiar, motile Eleutherozoa, which encompasses the
Asteroidea (starfish), Ophiuroidea (brittle stars), Echinoidea
(sea urchins and sand dollars) and Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers);
and the sessile Pelmatazoa, which consists of the crinoids.
Some crinoids, the spine stars, have secondarily re-evolved
a free-living existence.
deliver the markets of Southern China, Macassan trepangers
traded with the Indigenous Australians of Arnhem Land. This
Macassan contact with Australia is the first recorded example
of trade among the inhabitants of the Australian continent
and their Asian neighbours.
Some varieties of sea cucumber (known as gamat in Malaysia
or trepang in Indonesia) are said to have excellent healing
properties. There are pharmaceutical companies being built
based on this gamat creation. Extracts are prepared and made
into oil, cream or cosmetics. Some products are proposed to
be taken internally. The efficiency of sea cucumber pull out
in tissue repair has been the subject of grim study. It is
supposed that the sea cucumber contains all the greasy acids
needed to play an active role in tissue repair.
Sea cucumbers are supposed to be capable with aphrodisiac
powers in the Far East. The reason for this belief is the
abnormal reaction of the creature on being kneaded or concerned
slightly with fingers. It swells and stiffens and a jet of
water is released from one end. This behavior is similar to
the production and subsequent ejaculation of the male human
penis. After releasing the jet, which is a guilty mechanism
and contains irritants, the creature then goes flaccid.
sea urchin often appears sessile, i.e. incapable of moving.
Sometimes the most visible sign of life is the spines, which
are attached at their bases to ball-and-socket joints and
can be pointed in any direction. In most urchins, a light
touch elicits a prompt and visible reaction from the spines,
which converge toward the point that has been touched. A sea
urchin has no visible eyes, legs, or means of propulsion,
but it can move freely over surfaces by means of its adhesive
tube feet, working in conjunction with its spines.
On the oral surface of the sea urchin is a
centrally located mouth made up of five united calcium carbonate
teeth or jaws, with a fleshy tongue-like structure within.
The entire chewing organ is known as Aristotle's lantern,
which name comes from Aristotle's accurate description in
his History of Animals: