A Lesson About Sand Dollars

Posted by Francesca

Martha went to Washington State last week, to a place on the Puget Sound.  I suppose she must have been beach combing because look what we found in the kitchen.

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Franny, what do you suppose these odd looking discs are?

1 Franny, what do you suppose these odd looking discs are?

Well, Sharkey, I can tell you quite confidently that these are sand dollars.  I've seen them before on the beaches in Maine.

2 Well, Sharkey, I can tell you quite confidently that these are sand dollars. I've seen them before on the beaches in Maine.

Sand dollars are small marine animals, closely related to the sea urchin.  They live on the sandy ocean floor.

3 Sand dollars are small marine animals, closely related to the sea urchin. They live on the sandy ocean floor.

These grayish-white discs are actually the skeletal remains of the dead animal.  I think Martha must have found them on the shores of Puget Sound last week when she was in Washington State.

4 These grayish-white discs are actually the skeletal remains of the dead animal. I think Martha must have found them on the shores of Puget Sound last week when she was in Washington State.

Most living sand dollars are purple or blue and they have a dense fuzzy covering of short spines and tiny muscular projections called tube feet.

5 Most living sand dollars are purple or blue and they have a dense fuzzy covering of short spines and tiny muscular projections called tube feet.

This is what a live sand dollar looks like.

6 This is what a live sand dollar looks like.

Those spines and tube feet are used for moving about and for burrowing into the sand.  Their mouths are on the bottom and the bottom tube feet push tiny bits of food into the mouth.

7 Those spines and tube feet are used for moving about and for burrowing into the sand. Their mouths are on the bottom and the bottom tube feet push tiny bits of food into the mouth.

On the topside of a sand dollar skeleton, there is a pattern that looks like a flower.

8 On the topside of a sand dollar skeleton, there is a pattern that looks like a flower.

The flower shape is where the upper tube feet were located.  A sand dollar uses those tube feet for breathing.

9 The flower shape is where the upper tube feet were located. A sand dollar uses those tube feet for breathing.

Sharkey, I think if we leave the sand dollars outdoors for a while, they might get bleached by the sun's rays.

10 Sharkey, I think if we leave the sand dollars outdoors for a while, they might get bleached by the sun's rays.

What do you think, G.K.?  Should we sit here and watch these sand dollars turn white?

11 What do you think, G.K.? Should we sit here and watch these sand dollars turn white?

Hey, where did those Frenchies go?  I heard Francesca saying something about watching paint dry.  What do you suppose she meant by that?

12 Hey, where did those Frenchies go? I heard Francesca saying something about watching paint dry. What do you suppose she meant by that?

Comments (11)

  • Good morning everyone,
    I didn't even get a chance to read the comments from Friday so I will have to check them out today. We were busy working on the kennel. Now, after looking at the pictures and reading the info about sand dollars I started thinking about things. First, if the shape on the shell looks like a flower why aren't they called sand flower instead of sand dollar? Why? And, I never knew where the name Tube Socks came from and now I know. The sand dollars have little tube feet. So, their mammas made them little socks to keep their little tube feet warm when they are in cold waters. Then some human came across a baby sand dollar wearing their little tube socks and the human thought it was a good idea and Bam! Tube Socks for humans are invented. Another mystery solved. Yup. Hehehehehehehe
    Well Glue Squad, I am getting in some deck time cause I was working all weekend. So, I will check back with everyone to see how you are all doing
    Love to all,
    Maddox

  • Good Morning F & S

    Hahaha - you pulled a fast one on GK :) My mom has a friend that decorates her entire Christmas tree with sand dollars. She uses really pretty ribbons to tie them onto the tree.

    Can you believe the weekend is over already!!! Mom is heading to work and Dad is waiting for the air conditioner man to arrive. We purchased a new a/c unit and Dad isn't happy with it so they are coming to the house this morning. I'll have to attend the meeting to make sure this guy understands Mom needs a cool house.

    Yesterday was wonderful, mom was in the kitchen all day. We cooked braised short ribs, red velvet cupcakes and popovers. Mom gave me a taste of her popovers they are so yummy :)

    I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, I'm off to my meeting now.

    Zoe

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    I guess the young sand dollar is called a half dollar (fifty cents), and a baby sand dollar is called a quarter dollar (twenty-five cents). What a weekend I had here in the rainy south. It rained all day yesterday and almost all day long on Saturday. The rain gauge was reading two and a half inches on Saturday and another three and a half inches on Sunday. More rain expected today and tomorrow. Ole Kirby is getting pretty tired of all this. I did have one moment yesterday; I went out to do the usual and low and behold there was the cat right in front of me. Boy did he run with me right behind him. He took to a nearby tree; I’m still in the doghouse over that but it was worth every bit of it. You should have seen him go!!!! Daddy is looking at me so I better just stop and take a nap.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Gee, I don't think you can use the sand "dollars" at the local coffee shop, huh! :)

    Walking along the shore one can find many wonderful discoveries. Crabs, driftwood and shells. Oh and my favorite..kelp! :)

    Happy Monday to all
    gail

  • Hi F,S,&GK+ Glue Squad, You two sweet girls sure did have fun checking out those cute sand dollars that Martha found along Puget Sound here in our state, Washington! My Mom and her niece have found some on our side of Puget Sound and they collected a bunch, also! Sure was fun to see GK again this morning and he looks so handsome and be sure to hug him and Martha for me again! Hope you three sweethearts have another great day! Mom and me had a calm, busy weekend watering all our plants and picking lots of weeds again! Our weather was great! Maddox, sure will be fun to see that new kennel you are working on so much and have a nice rest! Zoe, how nice that you had such a great weekend and hope you have a great week, also! Kirby, so sorry you had so much rain and hope you get better weather real soon! Hope to hear from the rest of you real soon! Hey Ruby, our Seahawks sure did beat your Broncos on Saturday! Mom loves to watch our Seattle Mariners the most! Hope you all have a great day! Love, Dudley Do Right XOXOXO+

  • Good morning ladies,
    I must say, typing is tougher today 'cause I got my nails clipped real short. It's like typing on tippy toes!
    Anyway, sand dollars are super interesting! There is a big one in our powder room as a decoration. It is up and away from little children fingers. It was a gift from Grand-mimi in Florida a long time ago. I bet the Christmas tree decorated with sand dollars is really pretty!
    Kirby, Mimi says we need some of your rain. I'll do a rain come-our-way dance if you'll do a rain-go-away dance!
    Til tomorrow.
    Your pal,
    Rebel

  • Hello Girls, G.K. & Glue Squad Buddies,
    These sand dollars are really cool---never seen one. Maddox how genius of you to also give us the history of tube soxs---we don't call you the professor for nothing you know. And Kirby, you figured out where that 50cent rapper guy got his name. Geniuses you both are for sure.

    And speaking of geniuses, our Broncos are not in that category. Your Seahawks Dudley, Black Mama, Ivanka and Ivan sure did do a number on those donkeys. All I have to say is that Manning guy better get his boys in line---fighting and injuries up the wazoo, come on, you are grown men. Me, I partied even if they were dumb, dumbs. Cooking must be in the air Zoe, as my Mom, was still on her big sugar high on Sunday and boy the good stuff from the kitchen. Stuffed Zucchini, corn, beets, green beans, and now today making Dill Pickles. I personally don't like them, buy many are fans. We did a lot of walks this weekend too, on wet grass. No problemo for the Ruby Gem, except when it is in your own back yard. Rebel, that antique sand dollar sounds special, Mimi should frame it and protect it. Zoe, an entire tree decorated in sand dollars---is it a $100 tree? Hehehehehehe I hope James is doing lots better and Brutus and Max and family are doing o.k. Sending lots of hugs to all.

    Have a GEM of a day all.

    Love and licks,
    Ruby

  • :-) Francesca, Sharkey and GK, looks like you're enjoying yourselves, yep, just cooling it and watching sand dollars dry. I never realized that sand dollars were purplish and looked like that...interesting.
    Kitty brought me a gift, a Cicada bug all intact not totally dead...how sweet :-( then I found butterfly wings (yellow, orange, black and blue) but not a bit of its body, a bird must have gotten it...I saved the wings, don't know why and what I'm going to do with them...yikes!
    This might be a repeat here...I made glass bowls with sand, shells, driftwood, seaweed, glass and coral...all from different places, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Florida, etc.

    Hope all is well with our DWaggers-Glue Squad friends

    delia & Kitty =^, ,^=

  • I'm back
    I went back and read the comments from Thursday and Friday. I am very sorry that Brutus and Max's mom's only sister passed away. Brutus and Max, you have to be strong for your mamma and try to comfort her the best you can. The Glue Squad will send comforting thoughts your way. And one more thing, I am hoping that Black Mamma, Ivan or Ivanka can update us on James and I hope Lucinda is getting enough sleep because we don't want her to be worn out either.
    Love,
    Maddox

  • Hello Fluffy G.K., Francesca, Sharkey and my Glue squad buddies,
    We love sand dollars! They are very fragile and have to be wrapped in tissue paper for transporting to preserve them. The picture of the live sand dollar was very pretty. My Mom made some metal pendants with tiny sand dollar shapes on them a few months ago. We love sea glass too. G.K. is very handsome and it is wonderful to see him today.
    Maddox, your joke about tube socks was very funny! Imagine tiny sand dollars with tube socks, it sounds like a children's story book. Kirby, I am glad the cat got away, maybe he was practicing his running. Zoe, we could smell those ribs, yummy... What is a pop over???? Rebel, glad to hear you had a nice weekend working out in the gardens. My Mom worked all weekend taking care of cat and dog boarders. Zoe, did your Mom have a good time at the Jersey Shore?? Missy chow, how about those Patriots!!!
    Dudley, we laughed about your Seahawks comment. Wonder what Ruby will say??? Mom is getting ready for another work night. Off to read more books..
    take care everyone. Purrrrrs to beautiful Kitty!
    James Dean the persian boy cat

  • Learn something new every day. I did not know that about sand dollars. Thanks ladies. Looks like they left you holding the sand dollars G.K.! :lol:

    I'm terribly behind on keeping up with everyone these days. Brutus and Max I am very sorry about about the loss of your Mom's sister. I'm sure you two will do everything to give your Mom the support she really needs right now.

    I hope the weekend was lovely for everyone. :smile:

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