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Sea Creatures

Sand Dollars

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                                                     Sand Dollars

Sand Dollars are some of the most fun things to find on the beach. But what most people do not realize is that sand dollars aren't just things, but that they are the skeletons of sea creatures. By the time the skeleton washes up on the beach it is missing its velvety covering and appears to be bleached from the sun. They are known to be from the class of marine animals called Echinoids. They are relatives of the starfish and the sea cucumber. The sand dollar has five sets of pores arranged in a petal pattern. These pores allow the creature to move. They live beyond low water on top of muddy areas. Hairlike projections called cilia are attached to the spines on the underside of this creature. It eats organic particles that end up on the bottom of the ocean. Very few animals enjoy feasting on this particular creature. The best time for finding sand dollars is after a heavy storm on the beautiful beach.