Freaky Fish Friday – J.Y. Cousteau edition: the Sea Pig

Filed Under (Freaky Fish Friday) by Alexa & Cindy on 11-06-2010

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Hi, Ocean Lovers!

Happy 100th birthday, Jacques Cousteau! Today’s FFF is a crazy being we are sure Captain Cousteau would be fascinated by if he were here today. (Have you seen the Google homepage today?)

I’d like to introduce you to…THE SEA PIG! I’ve been waiting for weeks to post on this creature, so here goes:

The Sea Pig, aka Scotoplanes globosa, does indeed look pretty globby. It’s actually kind of cute, and it’s a member of the sea cucumber family.

Sea cucumbers are called echinoderms, and include starfish and sea urchins, too. Overall, there are about 1,250 species of sea cucumbers. And you guessed it – many of them have soft bodies and actually look a bit like cucumbers. Sometimes a small group of these cucumbers are collectively called Sea Pigs.

Some Sea Pigs live in shallow waters, while some live deep down, at the bottom of abysses. Scotoplanes globosa is one such deep dweller, living almost four miles under the ocean’s surface.

Scientists don’t know much about these creatures, but when they do encounter them, it tends to be in a group. They eat a microscopic diet of detritus, which they scoop up in their big mouths.

Sea Pigs have been studied recently in the Southern Ocean off of Antarctica, where they live in more shallow waters. What’s really crazy that scientists have found is that parasites like snails can somehow grow inside a Sea Pig’s body! 

Check out the below slideshow, and also Echinoblog for more creepy and kinda cute Sea Pig pics!

What do you think – creepy, awesome, or cute?

Have a great summer weekend and hope you are enjoying your World Oceans Day week!

~Alexa

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Hi, they are kind of cute. How long have you guys had this web site?

Hi Katie – when you look closely, the Sea Pig does look cute. We love the Sea Pig and can’t believe that parasites grow INSIDE it. We’ve had the site for just over a year. ~Alexa

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