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Euapta godeffroyi                              

Lion's Paw Sea Cucumber

Megan Permyakoff (2013)


Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


Euapta godeffroyi, commonly called the lion’s paw sea cucumber, is from the class Holothurian within the phylum Echinodermata.

Sea cucumbers are almost exclusively marine dwelling. They typically have an elongated body plan and leathery skin. Like other members of Echinodermata, sea cucumbers have pentaradial symmetry. Due to the way they regularly position their body on the substrate – where they are essentially lying on their side – a degree of bilateral symmetry has evolved secondarily (Kerr, 2011).  

The Apodida order is unique among holothurians in their lack of tube feet, respiratory trees, papillae and radial water canals (Kerr, 2011). A characteristic feature of apodids is their thin, often transparent body wall that can become extremely ‘sticky’ when touched due to anchor-like ossicles, which have a similar effect to that of Velcro (Kerr, 2011). Apodids range in size from a few millimetres to as much as 3 metres in length (Kerr, 2011). 

Photo: Megan Permyakoff, Heron Island, 2013