The Sand Dollar
Stanger, D. P.1
- Habitat- Low tidal zone to a deep 30 ft. sometimes washes up on shore. They live in a sandy seafloor habitat.
- Wave action- quiet/ calm waters they stand on end. Rough waters they hold their ground lying flat of burrowing themselves. Sand dollars usually crowd themselves together. Up to 625 can be together shaped like a square.
- Interrupted Feeding- when burrowed they may not have enough time to get to their food.
- Moving- Sand dollars use their spines to move around.
- Characteristics- 5 petals on their back produced by a set of pores. Tiny tubular extend up to the pores.
- Food- Algae and small worms, mussels, amphipods and crab larvae absorbing through their skin.
- Predators- can include sea stars, predatory snails, and bottom feeding fish like skates. When a predator is nearby sand dollars larvae literally split.
- Cool Facts- Has 5 teeth like sections for grinding up food. Sometimes it takes them 15 minutes to just chew their food. Sand dollars keep their butt above the sand. 2 things that protect them are the sandy muddy ocean bottoms and their exoskeleton.