WHAT IS A SEA CUCUMBER?
A sea cucumber is a marine animal with a weather-beaten skin and a stretched-out body comprising of a single, bifurcated gonad. The marine animal is from the Holothuroidea class and is an echinoderm. It is always seen at the bottom level of seas, and record has it that, there are about a number of 1,717 species globally, with the greatest portion in the pacific region of Asia. The name sea cucumbers came as a result of the marine animals being replicas of the plant called cucumber.
Like every other echinoderm, under the skin of a sea cucumber is an endoskeleton, and solidified structures that are often decreased to remote tiny ossicles, which are linked by connective tissue. In some species, there can be enlargements into flattened bowl that will hence serve as an armour, while there is an absence of endoskeleton and calcaneus ring in species like the pelagic species.
A lot of the species of sea cucumbers are harvested for the purpose of humans’ consumption, and some are reared in aquaculture systems. Treepang refers to the species that are harvested. These marine animals play huge and vital roles in the aqua ecosystem by helping in the recycling of nutrients, and in the breaking down of detritus and biological matters. After the break-downs, the degradation process can be continued by bacteria. The roles are also known as sea cucumber benefits.
I will be revealing some sea cucumber facts that you may have heard and forgotten, or you may have not come across.These facts will all be based on some of their systems; they way they survive from predators, their digestive system, their nervous system, the anatomy of their bodies, etc.
The length of sea cucumbers is normally 3.9 inches to 11.8 inches (10cm to 30cm), but a record of the length of a sea cucumber being 0.12 inches (3mm) has been made; that stands to be the smallest sized sea cucumber. In addition, the largest sea cucumber has a measurement of 9.8 feet (3 m) in length.
The bodies of these marine animals lack arms seen in other echinoderms, and are similar to the body shapes of worms. The marine animals have mouths on their anterior ends, which look like the oral poles found in other echinoderms. On their posterior ends is their anuses, which resemble the aboral poles of other echinoderms. In comparison with other echinoderms, these class of marine animals can be tagged liars on their sides.
The digestive system of sea cucumbers is among sea cucumber facts that I promised to reveal before now.
To start with, a pharynx is positioned just behind the mouth and encircled by a circle of ten solid bowls. In the majority of sea cucumbers, this stands to be the only significant component of the skeleton, and often creates the point bond for the muscles that will pull back the tentacles of the marine animals into their bodies for safety. A lot of species of this marine animal have stomachs and oesophagus, while the pharynx goes direct into the intestines of some species. The intestines are often long and spiralled, and entwines three times through the body before ending in the cloacae or anus.
For those who have seen sea cucumbers, they can tell you how the marine animals must have reacted when a torchlight was flashed to it, or when the tentacles were touched.The truth is that they don’t have real brains like other higher animals do.
Within their oral cavity is a formed circle of neural tissue, the formed ring transports nerves to their pharynx and tentacles. Also, there are five main nerves that run down the length of the bodies of these animals, under each ambulacra area, from the formed ring of neural tissue.
There have been speculations on the nerve ring playing vital roles, until a an experiment was taken. The experiment involved a surgical removal of the nerve ring, and the specimen (sea cucumber) was able to function and move around in the absence of the ring. Hence, the experiment proved that the nerve rings in the sea animals do not have any central role they play in the sea animals’ nervous cordination.
Many sea cucumbers have no special sensory organs, while there is a variety of nerve endings distributed through the skins of the animals, and thus giving them senses of touch and feelings to the presence of light.
When it comes to being defensive, I can say the sea animals give great deals. They are frequently despised by a large population of the marine marauders; this is as a result of the toxins contained in their bodies. Also, the sea cucumber defense is spectacular; and thus contributing to the reason why they are despised by a vast number of sea animals.
Irrespective of the sea cucumber defense system, there are more powerful and specialized predators that prey on them; these predators include big molluscs, tonna perdix, and tonna galea, which are not influenced by the toxins of sea cucumbers. The predators start by paralyzing them with their powerful poisons, and then completely swallow them. Some bigger fishes, such as trigger fish and some crustaceans also prey on them when they can’t find foods.
There are other species of sea cucumbers that defend themselves by releasing their gluey cuvjerian tubules to snare prospective predators that have come to prey on them. These sea animals also release these gluey substances whenever they are startled or frightened, via a rip in the walls of their cloacae. They do it through an autotomic method called evisceration. According to the type of species of the marine animals, the growth of the replacement tubules can take place in less than five weeks.
Sometimes, there will be discharges of toxic chemicals together with the cuvjerian tubules released; the toxic chemical is called holothurin, and has the same properties a soap has. The released toxic chemicals have the ability of killing other marine animals within the vicinity, and it is also another way by which sea cucumbers defend themselves from their predators. As a result of this sea cucumber defense system, other marine animals could not help but keep despising them.
SEA CUCUMBER BENEFITS
From a contemporary medical point of view, the sea cucumber is a precious source of a variety of different substances that can be used in the production of drugs.The sea animals found in salty waters are only consumed by some parts of Asia and Middle East as foods or medicines.
As a result of the marine animals being consumed in few regions in the Middle East and Asia, and not being accessed by a lot of people, thus, there have been extractions of some materials from them to produce sea cucumber supplement. The sea cucumber supplement also works like when the animals are eaten; in fact some other ingredients are added during the production, to enhance the sea cucumber supplement.
Below are some sea cucumber benefits a lot of people have been missing.
Prevention of cancer
A lot of people are getting so much concerned over the issue getting rid of cancer, and the existence of sea cucumbers seems to be an option of relief to those concerned. These sea animals contain large quantities of triterpene glycosides, which possess antitumor activity; they help in the prevention of the growth of cancer cells.
Did I say they fight only against the growth? Well, they also help in preventing the spread of the cancer cells.They also contain philinopside E, which help in slowing the creation of blood cells; the blood cells are known to be supplying nutrients to the cancer.
Blood coagulation is a nice thing that helps in the prevention of superfluous bleeding when one is injured. Irrespective of that, there is a possibility of clots forming inside one’s blood vessels in the absence of any serious injury, and that can lead to pulmonary embolism (accumulation of blood clots in the lungs). With the presence of a compound called chondroitin sulfate in sea cucumbers, they can help moderate blood clotting.
Sea cucumbers are reportedly possessors of compounds, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and mucopolysaccharides, which help in the balancing of a particular liquid called prostaglandins. These sea animals have the some anti-inflammatory effects, which help in the alleviation of pains in people with issues, such as arthritis.
Healing of wounds
Consuming sea cucumbers or sea cucumber supplements help in the speeding up the rate at which wounds heal. This is the last on the list of sea cucumber benefits, but certainly not the least. So, start eating sea cucumbers today, and enjoy a healthy living.