There are precious few records of these fascinating animals from Mumbai's shores, and here's one, found by Pradip Patade.
This easily-overlooked creature is a sea cucumber (belonging to the order Dendrochirotida). It is not a vegetable as its name might suggest, but a close relative of the sea stars. Sea cucumbers live on the seabed and in tidepools, moving slowly, using hundreds of tiny tube feet that cover their body. They have bunches of tentacles around the mouth that they use to feed on organic matter littering their surroundings.
Although a bit slow in movement, they're not short of quirky superpowers. One of these is their ability to regenerate lost body parts. Another, which may seem gross to humans, is their unique defense strategy - they vomit their own sticky insides (which feel like messy jackfruit sap) upon their enemies. The ability to regrow their insides after this upchuck seals their superior fight club capacities.
ID: Sea cucumber (Dendrochirotida sp.)
Date: Feb 19, 2015
Tide: Very Low
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