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Sea Squirts

Molgula manhattensis

Small sea squirts that are tube like creatures with a large hole at the topMax Size: 4 cm (1.5 in)
Habitat: Coastal waters, attaches to any hard substrate
Diet: Plankton

Fun Facts:

  • Sea Squirts are immobile filter feeders that can re-adhere to surfaces if they are removed.
  • Sea squirts have both male and female reproductive organs making self-fertilization possible; the gametes released via broadcast spawning typically meet those of other sea squirts in the water column.
  • When squeezed, excess water held within the sea squirt may be expelled from its siphons, giving it its name.
  • Sea squirts are tunicates, an odd taxon of animals that are actually chordates like fish and humans. They are thereby more related to us than to their fellow invertebrates. Larvae have a dorsal nerve cord that is digested during metamorphosis into an adult.