One fun fact about sand dollars is that these animals are closely related to sea urchins. In addition, the white or off-white sand dollar skeletons found on beaches are called "tests," and their five-jawed mouths are at the center of the star-shaped markings on the tests.Know More
Sand dollars are echinoderms, like sea urchins, sea cucumbers and starfish. Live sand dollars are covered in short spines that come in a variety of colors, including purple, green, black and reddish brown. They use these spines to burrow into the sand, move along the sand and collect food particles. When the particles come to rest on the spines, the animal uses its pincers, cilia and five tube feet to transport the food to its mouth.
The mouth, called Aristotle's lantern, consists of five jaw sections used to grind up plant and animal matter. A sand dollar may spend as long as 15 minutes grinding its food before swallowing it, and it can take as long as two days to digest its food.
The shell-like tests found washed up on beaches are sand dollar endoskeletons. The tests consist of rigid, fused plates and differentiate sand dollars from other echinoderms, which have skeletons made up of smaller, more flexible skeletal plates or small bony structures called ossicles.Learn more about Landforms
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A barrier island is a long, thin stretch of sand deposited parallel to the mainland. One side of a barrier island faces the ocean, while the other side faces an estuary, bay or lagoon that separates the island from the mainland. Barrier islands are popular tourist attractions and contain fragile ecosystems with distinct habitats and wildlife. Due to their location, barrier islands serve as protection from storms for the mainland.Full Answer >
Many animals make their home in the desert, including bighorn sheep, scorpions, ostriches, kangaroo rats, echidna and camels. Certain animals are only present in specific deserts.Full Answer >
Clean sand dollars by ensuring the organism is dead, rinsing it until the water runs clear, soaking it in chlorine bleach and drying it in the sun. Use white glue, diluted with water, to preserve the sand dollar.Full Answer >