Maybe you’ve heard of sand dollars—what about sand pennies?! Aquarist extraordinaire Christy has made significant investments into the Aquarium’s sandbanks by raising their very own baby sand dollars! 😍
Sand dollars (Dendraster excentricus) are a type of flattened sea urchin that tend to live in the shallows along sandy shorelines from Alaska to Baja. Beige, black or purple when alive, their white skeletons, called tests, are commonly spotted by beachcombers after a storm.
The beautiful “flower” pattern on their test is created by tiny openings that allow for tube feet used for breathing to access fresh seawater. Sand dollars are suspension feeders that nab food out of the passing current. In surgy environments, they tend to align themselves in vast fields, standing vertically off the sand to help channel foods to their mouth. And on top of all of that, baby sand dollars are debit-litatingly cute!