Look what the tide’s pulled in.
Tiffany Boothe of the Seaside Aquarium reports a few unique creatures coming onto the beach, likely due to the high tides and heavy surf.
“The heavy surf dislodges animals which burrow into the sand like the skin-breathing sea cucumbers and the sea butterflies,” Boothe said Tuesday.
The skin-breathing sea cucumber buries itself in the sand and when the surf gets “really big,” gets dredged up and wind up on the beach. Unlike other sea cucumbers, skin-breathing sea cucumbers lack respiratory structures and absorb oxygen through their skin.
Heteropods or carinaria japonica are a type of sea snail found in the open ocean. Like jellyfish, the ocean’s surface currents can bring these animals ashore.
Heteropods have a greatly reduced shell and a small swimming fin which the animal uses to propel itself forward. A pair of well-developed eyes aid them in capturing salps and copepods for nutrition.
Other aquatic life seen on Seaside beaches include “a lot of moon jelly fish and stinging nettle jelly fish,” Boothe added.