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University of Ottawa

EchinodermataDeuterostomiaPhylumEchinodermataSea stars sand dollars sea urchins brittle stars sea cucumbers and basket stars to name a fewThe spacious perivisceral cavity The body cavity that surround the main organ systems in an animal is formed from the metacoel and the fluids in itThe water vascular system has a similar composition to the surrounding ocean water the only difference is the presence of some proteins and coelomocytes Cells found in coelomic fluid They are often undifferentiated amoebocytesThe complete digestive system is tubular often with digestive ceca positioned next to the gonads to facilitate nutrient transfer for gamete formation The nervous system consists of a ring that surrounds the mouth and radial nerves that extend down the arms there isbrainnoEchinoderms are dioecious and most of them have excellent regenerative powers and will discard whole arms to satisfy a predator in order to make their escape lost arms are slowly replacedGonads may be either permanent or seasonal and gametes are released into the surrounding seawater where external fertilization occurs Development is indirect Although different types of larvae appear in different echinoderm classes theyre all ciliated and their development follows the typical deuterostome pattern After being pelagic One of the zones in the marine environments where animals live Pelagic animals are only found swimming or floating between the surface and bottom of the ocean and not at the shoreline for a time the larval stage settles to the bottom and completes its metamorphosis to the adultPentaradiatesymmetryRadial symmetry most often based on fives called pentaradiate symmetryEchinoderm larvae were actually bilaterally symmetric and underwent metamorphosis to become radially symmetric
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