Monday, May 30, 2016

Talented half dollar

The little sand dollar in my aquarium (more like a 50-cent piece) wanders all over the tank, usually underneath the sand and shells, but sometimes coming out in the open for a brief look around.

He moves more quickly than I would expect, travelling only on spines a couple of millimetres long. When I clean the tank, I remove him carefully so as not to break off those fragile spines, and then put him back on the surface of the sand at the front of the tank when I'm done. Within minutes, he's upended himself, and is burrowing back down out of sight.

Sandy, feeding. Much larger than life.

A few days ago, he showed up right by the glass wall, and I got a video of him feeding and "walking". Once again, I was amazed at his talents; with those hair-like tube feet, he picks up fat grains of sand, lifts them to the mouth to check them for edibles, then drops them.

And he manages to walk and chew sand at the same time. Smart critter!

Here's the video. It helps to watch it on the full screen.


  1. Very neat, Susannah!

  2. Years ago I went to Ensenada, Mexico. The shallow sandy beach was just covered in sand dollars. It was almost impossible to walk without touching one. By the way, how is Chia? - Margy


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