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Scotoplanes - Sea Pig - Sea Cucumber

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Published on Mar 17, 2011

Scotoplanes, the sea pig, is a marine invertebrate animal. It is a genus of deep-sea holothurian (Class Holothuroidea in the phylum Echinodermata-popularly known as sea cucumbers) in the family Elpidiidae (order Elasiopoda).

Scotoplanes live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, typically at depths of over 1000 meters. Some related species can be found in the Antarctic. Scotoplanes (and all deep-sea holothurians) are deposit feeders, and obtain food by extracting organic particles (i.e., food) from deep-sea mud. Scotoplanes globosa has been observed to demonstrate strong preferences for rich, organic food that has freshly fallen from the ocean's surface, and uses olfaction to locate preferred food sources such as whale corpses.

Scotoplanes often occur in huge densities, often numbering in the hundreds when observed. Early collections have recorded 300 to 600 individual specimens per trawl. Many deep-sea sea cucumbers are known to occur in high-densities.

Sea pigs are also known to host different parasitic invertebrates, including gastropods (snails) and small tanaid crustaceans.

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