Respiratory trees are unique to sea cucumbers and are not found in any other echinoderm. All species of Holothuroids must use at least one of these organs to breath. Respiratory trees are often fed oxygen by the sea cucumber actually breathing through their anus. They not only excrete waste from their anus, but expand and contract their muscular body walls in a slow rhythm, which in turn draws in and expels water. This is where the respiratory trees extract the oxygen. There are a few species of sea cucumbers that also allow small fishes to enter and exit the anus.
Ready to Fight!
When threatened, some sea cucumbers discharge sticky threads to ensnare their enemies. Others can mutilate their own bodies as a defense mechanism. They violently contract their muscles and jettison some of their internal organs out of their anus.
Don't worry! They won't die from lossing their internal organs. The missing body parts are quickly regenerated. It is a very interesting strategy to defense. Scientists are doing research of how they regenerate their body and hopefully can be use in humans.