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Sand Dollars Sea Floor replica measures 4 inches. Sand Dollars Sea Floor replica is museum quality polyurethane cast. Made in USA.
Sand dollars (also known as a sea cookie or snapper biscuit in New Zealand, or pansy shell in South Africa) are species of flat, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. Some species within the order, not quite as flat, are known as sea biscuits. (Related animals include other sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and starfish.) Sand dollars can also be called “sand cakes” or “cake urchins”.
Sand dollars are small in size, averaging from three to four inches. Sand dollars, like all members of the order Clypeasteroida, possess a rigid skeleton called a test. The test consists of calcium carbonate plates arranged in a fivefold symmetric pattern. The test of certain species of sand dollar have slits called lunules that can help the animal stay embedded in the sand to stop it from being swept away by an ocean wave. In living individuals, the test is covered by a skin of velvet-textured spines which are covered with very small hairs (cilia). Coordinated movements of the spines enable sand dollars to move across the seabed. The velvety spines of live sand dollars appear in a variety of colors including green, blue, violet, or purple depending on the species. Individuals which are very recently dead or dying are sometimes found on beaches with much of the external morphology still intact. Dead individuals are commonly found with their empty test devoid of all surface material and bleached white by sunlight.
The bodies of adult sand dollars, like those of other echinoids, display radial symmetry. The petal-like pattern in sand dollars consists of five paired rows of pores. The pores are perforations in the endoskeleton through which podia for gas exchange project from the body. The mouth of the sand dollar is located on the bottom of its body at the center of the petal-like pattern. Unlike other urchins, the bodies of sand dollars also display secondary front-to-back bilateral symmetry.
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