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Tlaquanaru 100

By avancna
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Various sandy-bottom-dwelling vascularozoans, better known as "sand wheels."

From top:
Name: Buer's Larger Sprocket
Species: Buer gigas
Notes: The Buer's Sprockets are sediment-feeders, as are the majority of other sand wheels. They slowly "roll" by the coordinated movements of its spines, pedicellaria, and tubefeet digging into the substrate in order to allow the body of the animal to rotate. This also allows it to feed, in that, as it digs into the substrate, edible particles are captured, and moved into its mouth.

If disturbed, they bury themselves into the substrate with surprising celerity.

Name: Miniature Acorn Star
Species: Microbalanaster bune
Notes: It is not a sand wheel, but a starfish vascularozoan. It is a predator, and spends its time searching for buried molluscs/conchozoans. When it locates the burrow of its prey, it extends specialized tubefeet in order to inject a narcotic venom with which to sedate its victim. Once subdued, it pulls its victim out of the sand into its mouth. If faced with predators, acorn stars are capable of squirting their venom into the water, as well as quickly burying themselves in the substrate. Even so, acorn stars are eaten by a wide variety of predators, including fish, snails, and predatory vascularozoans, especially large serpent stars.

Name: Cookie Sprocket
Species: Odontopita edulis
Notes: Cookie sprockets are a cosmopolitan genus sand wheel with a 27 million year old pedigree. As with the Buer's sprocket, it is a wheel-like sediment feeder. In some areas, the populations are so dense that their broken tests are a major component of the sediment.

Name: Lesser Tombstone
Species: Mnimakapella gryphaea
Notes: This peculiar-looking species is a predatory sand wheel. Should small nekton approach it, they risk being entangled and ensnared with its hair-like tubefeet, and hidden, venomous pedicellaria. Larger, or struggling prey are subdued either by the animal falling on it, or by dragging the prey into the substrate and be smothered.

Name: Sand Tire
Species: Trochotherium kykloides
Notes: Sand tires are among the most wheel-like of all sand wheels. They are suspension-feeders that feed by filtering out edible particles that enter into its water-vascular system. Sand tires have lost their spines and reduced their pedicellaria, instead relying solely on their tubefeet for mobility. They resist jawed predators by relying on their tough, toxin-ladened bodies, and fast regenerative abilities.
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© 2008 - 2021 avancna
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they are Echinoderms?

avancna's avatar

Echinoderm equivalents, yes

Are they the closest to starfish?

avancna's avatar

Sand dollars. I based them off of sand dollars.

meganbednarz's avatar
I really like the idea of these type of creatures! They must have pretty good sense of balance to stay upright like that though.
avancna's avatar
The larger ones stay upright by being partly buried in the substrate.
Go watch how a live sand dollar moves, like in youtube.
meganbednarz's avatar
Oh cool! I guess it works then. I've always wondered what a wheel-animal would be like.
meganbednarz's avatar
In-the-picture's avatar
:wave: I`ve featured this in my latest journal [link] if you would like it removed just let me know :)
avancna's avatar
You're kidding right?
I love having my stuff featured even more than marzipan dipped in dark chocolate.
In-the-picture's avatar
Haven`t got that, but giant cookie?
avancna's avatar
That's a nice cookie.
tentaculus's avatar
how big is this Buer ?
avancna's avatar
Very large/old individuals get to be up to 30 centimeters in diameter (these tend to be over 20 years old, mind you, and most tend to perish around age 1 and a half)
MythMage's avatar
I love these things! I can't decide if I want to keep live ones in a fishtank or hang dried ones on my wall. :)
avancna's avatar
It's going to be a big fishtank, right?
MythMage's avatar
Maybe I could get a swimming pool and convert it into an aquarium...
avancna's avatar
These are sanddollars, not Flipper.
MythMage's avatar
But don't you think they'd be cozier if they had a whole beach? :P
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