|Image: Jerry Kirkhart|
The Stiff-footed Sea Cucumber is... well, it's a sea cucumber with stiff feet, right? They're tube feet, much like those on a starfish or many other echinoderms, but somewhat stiff such that they can't be retracted into the body like they can in some other sea cucumbers.
Stiff-footed Sea Cucumbers reach up to 10 cm (4 in) long and range from Alaska down to California. They can also be found in Japan, which is quite a journey. They live in rocky nooks and crannies in shallow and intertidal waters, where they feed on drifting plankton by spreading ten, branching oral tentacles into the current.
One cool thing about these sea cucumbers is that they have five rows of stiff-feet, though each row is itself composed of four rows of feet. I like this because it reminds us that we're looking at an echinoderm with an echinoderm's 5-fold symmetry. Sea cucumbers are the weirdos who rolled onto one side and grew really long so they could live like worms.