It is illegal to take or keep a live sand dollar, and it carries a hefty fine.
If it is in the water and it has hair, it is alive and should be placed back
into the water, with the hair side down against the sand. The creatures
eat tiny particles of food that float in the water. The mouth of a sand
dollar, and other urchins, is called the Aristotle's lantern.
When exploring live sand dollars, always return them to the water
quickly. Sea gulls are their biggest predator.
Starfish or sea stars are related to sand dollars. The star-shaped
echinoderms belong to the class Asteroidea. The upper surface may be
smooth, granular or spiny, and is covered with overlapping plates. Many
species are brightly colored in various shades of red or orange, while
others are blue, grey or brown. Starfish have tube feet operated by a
hydraulic system and a mouth at the center of the lower surface.
They are opportunistic feeders and are mostly
predators on benthic invertebrates. Most can
regenerate damaged parts or lost arms, and they
can shed arms as a means of