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From a hairy tarantula to a talking African gray parrot, you never know what you’ll bump into in Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari at the Tennessee Aquarium!


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California Sea Cucumber

Parastichopus californicus

ON EXHIBIT:  Boneless Beauties at Ocean Journey.

California Sea Cucumber

This species is the largest type of sea cucumber along the Pacific Northwest coast.  The species feeds by sifting through sediment on the sea floor.  Its primary predators are large sun sea stars, but they are also eaten by sea otters and humans. 

Sea cucumbers are considered a delicacy in many Asian countries and are the focus of a growing commercial fishery.  Harvesting sea cucumbers has become so popular that many species are in danger of becoming overfished.  Management plans are being put into place to help protect these populations by setting quotas and minimum size limits, ending harvesting during breeding seasons and improving population monitoring.

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About This Animal

SIZE: Up to 16 inches

RANGE: Alaska to Isla Cedros, Baja California

HABITAT: Rocky and soft sea floors; from intertidal to about 300 ft deep

DIET: Detritus and small organisms