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Echinoderm Gallery

Echinoderms are a group of marine invertebrates that includes starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers



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Echinoderms are a group of marine invertebrates that includes starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers. They have a hard external skeleton made of calcium carbonate plates and spines, and are found in all oceans around the world from shallow waters to deep ocean trenches. They feed on small organisms like plankton, mollusks, and other echinoderms. Most species reproduce by releasing eggs and sperm into the water where fertilization takes place externally. Some species can also reproduce through regeneration or cloning themselves when parts of their body are cut off or damaged. Echinoderms play an important role in the food chain as they provide food for larger predators like fish and birds while also helping to keep coral reefs healthy by consuming algae that can otherwise overgrow them.