What is a Sea Pig?
You may never have asked the question, “What is a sea pig?” You may never even have heard of it. But I think you’ll still be fascinated to learn about the sea pig here. I must warn you that the language in this video may be questionable to some of you, but I think it’s witty and I hope you will get a chuckle from it.
What is a Sea Pig?
- The “sea pig” is the common name for a species of sea cucumber (in the class Holothuroidea) that lives in the deepest abyssal depths of the world’s oceans.
- Because waters in the Southern Ocean (Antarctica) are so cold, sea pigs can be found in shallower waters around the South Pole.
What is a Sea Pig? – Locomotion
- Sea pigs have enlarged tube feet that have taken on a leg-like appearance. These tubes use water cavities within the skin (rather than within the leg itself) to inflate and deflate the appendages.
- The legs are about 6 inches (15 cm) long and are responsible for the common name “sea pig”.
What is a Sea Pig? – Ecology
- Sea pigs are a deep sea-dwelling species of sea cucumber.
- Sea pigs live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian Ocean, typically at depths of approximately 3.7 miles (6000 meters) under the ocean surface.
- Some related species can be found in the Antarctic.
- Sea pigs have a giant mouth and are deposit feeders, and obtain food by extracting organic particles from deep-sea mud.
- Sea pigs feed on the scum and goo that falls to the bottom of the sea floor from the top of the ocean. They feed on them with the ring of tentacles that surrounds the mouth.
- Sea pigs use olfaction to locate preferred food sources such as whale corpses.
- Sea pigs, like many sea cucumbers, often occur in huge densities, and their populations can fluctuate from year to year by 100-and 1000-fold.
What is a Sea Pig? – More Images
(This image from the Galathea 3 expedition site)
Ocean Networks Canada/ CSSF Ropos
Photos courtesy of Ocean Networks Canada
For a lot more fun stuff about the sea pig, visit SeaPig.net