Sea cucumbers pinch out 70000 tons of poop per year

Giant sea cucumber (Thelenota anax) (Image: © Southern Islander Dive Tours)

A sea cucumber is basically one big chunk of intestine — mouth on one end, anus on the other — so that water can sometimes go in and out of either opening

Sea cucumbers — those chubby tubes of flesh that scooch around the ocean floor — have a very special talent: The tubular creatures are elite poopers, collectively expelling more than 70,000 tons (64,000 metric tons) of sandy poop out of their bottoms each year.

That's not an estimate for the entire globe; that's how much sea cucumbers poop on a single coral reef, per year. And even that tremendous number may be an underestimate, according to a new study, published Feb. 2 in the journal Coral Reefs



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