Sand Dollar Facts You Will Not Forget

Sand dollars are flattened invertebrates with a disc-like shape that are often seen in the ocean’s coastal intertidal zone. They are found in the Northern Hemisphere on temperate and tropical beaches and ocean bottoms, as well as on the seabed. When these marine organisms’ skin is exposed to the sun for a prolonged length of time, it takes on the look of a silver coin, giving them the moniker “sand dollar.” A sand dollar species is often seen in sea urchin colonies, which comprise of about 20 different species of sea urchins. A sand dollar’s flower-like form with holes and pores contributes to its mobility and radial symmetry, as well as its capacity to move. 

Exoskeleton components of Sand dollar

Sand dollar body components, including as the exoskeleton and spines, are often acquired for decorative purposes and are worth whatever the customer is willing to pay. Sea critters often feed on sand dollar larvae, and the typical sand dollar perishes due to a lack of food in its local area or due to being consumed by urchins, marine stars, or other sea creatures, among other things. As a consequence, the next time you visit a coastal site or aquatic body, you may encounter live adults of this species or even larvae.

Sign of life in Sand dollar

When a sand dollar is alive, it is coated with cilia, which are little hairlike feet that aid the sand dollar in moving and burrowing into the sand. Sand dollars that have died are covered with cilia. Sand dollars have moving spines, which implies that if you hold one in your hand and feel the spines move, the animal is still alive. Additionally, the spines contribute to the sand dollar’s dark tint, which varies from brown to grey to purple and red depending on the species. Finally, you may observe that when touching live specimens of some sand dollar species, they leave a yellowish stain on your hands. Another sign that the animal should be returned to the water is the presence of echino-chrome, a harmless chemical.