On Clearing Up The Matter That Mollusks Are Better Than Echinoderms

Sheril over at The Intersection seems to be confused about what the coolest invertebrate is. She goes so far as to call out PZ about his hyper-infatuation with Cephalopods. Let’s face it there is no way an echinoderm, especially a holothurian, can come anywhere near the coolness of a Mollusk. There is a reason why we at DSN have a whole category here dedicated to Cephalopods and not one dedicate to our water-vascularized friends. It’s just hard to get excited about a sea cucumber that either feeds on sediment muck or filters muck out of the water column and not much else. Or an organism whose idea of fun is spewing its organs all over you or creating poop trails. Do sea cucumbers do this, or this, or this? I don’t think so. If you need more fodder check out this site and see Vermeij discuss how Mollusks are winning the ocean’s arms race. Mollusks get both larger and smaller than all the Echinoderms and they are more diverse both in terms of number of species and the ecological niches they fill.

If you don’t believe me that Mollusks are cooler than sea cucumbers watch the videos below.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

12 Replies to “On Clearing Up The Matter That Mollusks Are Better Than Echinoderms”

  1. Mollusks get both larger and smaller than all the Echinoderms and they are more diverse both in terms of number of species and the ecological niches they fill.

    And they can kill you. Not all of them, obviously, but a select few …

  2. Echinoderms RULE! I studied both asteroids and echinoids for my diss and loved them so much that they are now tattooed on my body. Cephalos are a close second, though.

  3. I don’t think it’s a fair comparison with the sea cucumber like that. Echinoderms are cool, but I’ll have to say that mollusks are cooler. I got love for all!


  4. Just had the pleasure on Monday of having Brad Seibel do a guest lecture on cephalopods — with a focus on reproduction – for one of my classes. For me, it was pure heaven. What with the brooding squid videos and backstory, metabolic studies, and then the D. gigas egg mass videos. Didn’t want the class to end. Awesome!

    I don’t see any cukes ever coming close to that….

  5. Dr. Whore, I remember that one! Its fantastic! I’m waiting for my description of a new species of deep sea shrimp to get published, then I am getting Fig. 2a, a line drawing of the critter we did, tattooed on my leg. My other tats were from my pre-scientist years, although I do have the biohazard symbol on my right arm. Maybe it was an omen.

  6. Hi boys,

    Thanks for fighthing the good fight for cephalopods. I don’t even understand how the Echinoderms think they’ve got an arguement…

  7. hmm… it justs kind of sits there. like a plant. not very exciting *yawn* Is that the best team cuke can do?? ;p

Comments are closed.