BIO 203


The Classification of the swimming sea cucumber is very unique compared to other deep-sea cucumbers.


Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class: Holothuroidea

Order: Elasipodida

Family: Pelagothuriidae

Genus: Enypniastes

Species: Enypniastes eximia

The Enypniastes eximia is the scientific name of our organism. In English this organism is the swimming sea cucumber.

Eukarya: This group contains all organisms with eukaryotic cells. For an example of other eukarya check out the African elephant!

Animalia: this group is very diverse and includes all animals, which are multicellular and heterotrophic. This group does not contain any protists or prokaryotes

Echinodermata: includes around 7000 species that are still living today, this group includes starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. Some of the synapomorphies in this group includes a water vascular system and a calcified made of ossicles

Holothuroidea: includes sea cucumbers. There are found in almost every ocean on the planet. What separates this group from the others is its calcium ring in throat. Another animal that has a large habitat range is the tuna, click here to learn more!

Elasipodida: “have a madrepor that opens into the body cavity” (tree of life). Includes 141 species. Organisms in this group all have tentacles that are in a shield shape that can be used for shoveling in sediments, there body wall is also soft.

Enypniastes- are deep sea cucumbers, feeds on sediments and is distributed all over the oceans of the world

Enypniastes- eximia: swimming sea cucumber


Phylogenetic Trees


Crinoidea          Asteroidea   Ophiuroidea      Echinoidea        Holothuroidea




The swimming sea cucumber falls into the Holothuroidea group, this group includes all sea cucumbers. The animals that the swimming sea cucumber is most related to include sea urchins and the type of animal that is least related to the swimming sea cucumber are Crinoids. This tree is based on morphological characteristics. Click here for more information about sea cucumbers!



In this phylogenetic tree the Enypniastes eximia belongs in the class of Holothuroidea and then in the tree that shoots off of the first one they belong in the order Elasipodida. These trees are based on interpretation of the 18S and 28S rDNA data that was collected, in other words this tree is based off of molecular sequences (tree of life).



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