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If they are flipped upside down, we have been turning them over gently, at which time they scurry quickly under the sand. Many will say it is better to leave them alone, but I hate the thought of them scorching to death slowly just because of an unfortunate ride in a wave. Please let me know if they are doomed to a certain untimely death if upside down on the beach, or if they are still all right if they are upside down. I don't want to mess with nature, but just as I would try to save a creature drowning or something, I would like to do a good deed for these lovely animals as well.

Greetings Becky, I appreciate your concerns. I don't know if they are "doomed" but taken at face value it sounds as if you are helping them. Since one probably cannot help ALL the animals that are like this, your behavior reflects more on you than on any direct widespread effect on the population..

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Thank you so much for your encouraging response, Chris. We are certainly not able to walk the beach constantly looking for creatures to assist, but it is nice to hear that when we are able to help, we are likely doing that, and not harming the course of nature. Muchas gracias, Becky. Thank you for the commentary on sand dollars. A friend recently brought me about 40 of the tiny variety that were part of more than one hundred they encountered on the beach. I've developed a special love for the tiny creatures and watch for these irregular urchins on the beach.

I'd like to link a blog post about my preoccupation with them to this post so my readers can read more if they're interested. Hi there Can sand dollars be found in Australia? Would like to find out soon, as I am going to the beach in a few weeks Thanks! Indeed they can.

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But I'm not sure if they are as abundant since they can occur in deeper water. Note that sometimes, finding sand dollars in shops does not guarantee they are local. Many are imported from America. I would like to know how and why you can tell when the urchins are safe to take. I do not want to ever take live urchins, but would like to take dead when free diving.

So long as you find the skeletons white and missing all of the spines they should be fine.

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Living urchins, including sea urchins, still have all their spines attached. Sand dollars would still have a "fuzzy" feeling to them rather than being smooth. Is this considered large? I read on another sight that the yellow coloration left on your fingers is confirmation that the sand dollar is alive.

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Apparently not an unusual occurance. This is a great post, thanx!

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So, my question for the day is: how do they think? Do they have some sort of brain? Like, how do they know to dig in the sand to avoid predators? Do they recognize predators when they're nearby? If so, how? I'm really intrigued by these guys, having found literally scores of them, all diff. Thanx in advance for any info. They don't have any well developed neural centers i. Most of their behavior is pretty much dictated by their basic functions-eat. They can sense food in the water with strong chemoreception and presumably do the same with predators. I have a few sand dollars found in Ghana, Africa. They are a turquoise color and have many indentations along one side. I've identified as Rotulidae, can you tell me about them?

Hi I was wondering where I could get my fossil sand dollar identified? I found this fossil 50 years ago in South Australia. I am leaning towards a cassiduioios from the information you have supplied. Thanks Chris for a very informative blog which is still attracting comments 5 years on. I had never seen these sand dollars before until today. I found a heap of endoskeletons on horseshoe bay beach on magnetic island on the great barrier reef, off the coast from Townsville,QLD, Australia. These ones are 'penta' shaped and seem to have an a mix of regular and irregular features I assume you mean by humans?

And so I would say mostly not. Sand dollar body structure is primarily skeleton and spines.

I suppose its possible that someone might have developed a taste for the uni gonads the way other sea urchins are eaten but that has yet to be demonstrated as anything more than a chance irregularity. I'm a 4th year sociology student in Canada. I would love to email you. I've found a new interest in sea erchrins. I dint see you mention they are Located all so on the east coast of Canada Like in the Bay Of Fundy, I always find many sand dollars there. Excellent information!

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I have a recent obsession with sand dollars! It is so difficult to find reliable information on them! Thank you.

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I have read that there are 29 living species from around the world, but I cannot find a list of them anywhere. Do you have a good resource? Love your blog and than you for the good info! I have gray sand dollars? Is it a sand dollar. It does have the star marking on the top. Post a Comment. Pages Home About me Echinoblog Outreach. Please make a note of it!

So, let's clarify this first- and foremost.