My guess is that it’s some crazy burrowing worm. Damn, though, that’s the biggest feeding structure I’ve seen on one so shallow!
A couple of marine biologist colleagues here in my department (including a seaweed phylogeneticist) suggest it might be some kind of sea cucumber – the oral tentacles of one.
Sea cucumber ^__^ this is one of the defensive mechanisms of sea cucumbers. find out here —http://video.kids.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/kids/animals-pets-kids/invertebrates-kids/sea-cucumber-kids.html
My vote is for a holothurian (sea cucumber). Anyone send this to ChrisM at the Echinoblog?
My first guess would be that it’s some kind of sea cucumber. The burrowing sea cucumbers at my work behave in the same way when disturbed.
Another vote for sea cucumber/ holothurian – it appears to have five main “branches”, the oral feeding structures, which accords with the pentaradial body plan of sea cucumbers.
[...] on the identity of this bad boy over at DSN ranged from some sort of cnidarian (like a soft coral or anemone) to a sea cucumber or even some [...]
Wow that was really amazing I have never seen anything like that, it looks like sea weed but it also reminds me of an anemone because they too do that whole curling up thing except that they don’t go and bury themselves in the sand.