Sea Cucumbers Research Paper

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Sea Cucumbers, or Holouridea, have a mostly simple life cycle. Most warm water species breed by spawning or releasing sperm and eggs into the water. Once the eggs have hatched the larvae will reach grow into their first larval stage within 3 days. Most sea cucumber live to be between 5 to 10 years old. The breeding peaks for sea cucumbers are from March to may and November to December (James, JRank, Mulcrone). Sea cucumbers breed in many different ways but most species have a single gonad and breed by spawning. In captivity a temperature change of at least 5 degrees is used to induce breeding. At first the holothurians acting as the males rear up and release sperm into the water. They continue to do this for about three hours. After about …show more content…
By the time the larvae reach their tenth day they have developed into doliolaria. Many holothurians go through another non-feeding stage called a vitellaria. After 2 months they have fully developed and have grown to a size of 20 millimeters. After full larval metamorphosis the young sea cucumbers settle into the sediment (James, JRank). Once the holothurians have settled into the sediment they quickly grow into adults. Adult holothurians move very slowly across the sea floor and often spend their lives in the same area. Sea cucumbers mostly eat plankton, algae, and decaying organic matter. There are some deep sea holothurian species but most sea cucumber species live in warm and shallow water. The lifespan of most sea cucumbers ranges between 5-10 years (JRank, Mulcrone). Once sea cucumbers have grown into adulthood their lives are mainly made up of eating and remaining sedentary. It takes between 3 1/2 and 4 hours for sea cucumbers to complete the breeding process not including larval metamorphosis or hatching. At 2 months after hatching the larvae have become juveniles and reached a length of 20 millimeters. In adult life sea cucumbers are very sedentary and very slow moving. In conclusion, holothurians go through many larval stages during metamorphosis and that once they have settled into the sediment and become adults that they are slow moving and quite sedentary (James, JRank,

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