Experts Baffled By Thousands Of Sand Dollars Mysteriously Appearing On Beach
Thousands of sand dollars have mysteriously washed ashore a beach, leaving experts completely baffled by the discovery.
The sand dollars, a species of flat sea urchins, first started getting stranded on the shore on Sunday, August 15.
Thousands of the animals were found lying on the southern end of the Seaside Beach, in Seaside, Oregon.
The sand dollars got stranded along the high tide line on the south end of the beach when the afternoon high tide washed them in.
The sea urchins are only able to survive for a few minutes outside of the ocean, otherwise they quickly dry up.
The Seaside Aquarium does not know how the urchins ended up being stranded on the beach, but noted that there are multiple contributing factors that can lead to events such as these.
In a Facebook post, the aquarium alerted its followers of the incident, stating that ‘thousands of live sand dollars’ had been washed ashore on the southern end of the beach. It believes the animals were washed in during the afternoon high tides.
The aquarium then delivered the news that the incident subsequently caused the sand dollars to dry up and die.
We are also unaware if this is an isolated incident or if this is happening on other beaches.
It is hard to convey how many sand dollars on washing in.
It attached a video to its post to convey the scale of the matter.
Sand dollars are related to sea urchins, and the aquarium detailed how the outside of their shells are ‘covered with millions of tiny spines which look like “fuzz” or hair’. They went on to explain how the spines ‘aid in the movement and feeding of the sand dollar’. The animal’s mouth is located on the center of the underside.
The urchins feed on plankton, ‘which they break down with their five small teeth’. Their teeth ‘closely resemble the shape of a bird’, which means many people refer to them as ‘doves’.
The aquarium noted how the animal can be found worldwide and that there are many different species, each with their own unique characteristics.
To tell if the animal is alive, it says that the ‘best indication would be if the sand dollar is still “fuzzy”‘.
Due to the animals often being used as home decorations, the aquarium warned against taking the ‘fuzzy’ ones home due to them smelling ‘quite badly’.
In Florida and South Carolina, if you remove a live sand dollar from a beach, you could get punished with a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.
The animals can live up to 10 years and you can count how many years they have lived by the growth rings on the plates of their skeleton.
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