Sea Apples | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Sea Apples | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Sea Apples Overview


Sea apples are stunning marine animals with elongated, cylindrical bodies adorned in vibrant and striking colors. They feature smooth, soft, and flexible skin that can be blue, red, green, or a combination of these hues, often resembling a piece of fruit.

Their body is typically translucent, revealing their intricate internal structures. Sea apples possess a crown of feathery, branching feeding appendages at one end and a holdfast at the other for attachment to the substrate. Their unique appearance adds a captivating and vivid presence to coral reef ecosystems.

Origins And Evolution

Sea apples and marine echinoderms have a long evolutionary history dating back millions of years. Their ancestors likely appeared during the Paleozoic era, evolving from simpler, stalked forms.

Over time, they developed into the elegant, cylindrical shapes observed today, adapting to life in coral reef ecosystems. Evolutionary innovations include the development of vibrant colors, a flexible body structure, and intricate feeding appendages.

They are part of the class Holothuroidea, within the phylum Echinodermata, reflecting their shared ancestry with sea cucumbers. Their evolution showcases remarkable adaptation to diverse marine environments, contributing to their presence in modern coral reefs around the world.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Sea apples, and marine echinoderms, exhibit a distinctive lifestyle in coral reef habitats. They are primarily filter feeders, extending their crown of feathery, branching appendages to capture plankton and organic particles from the water.

These creatures are generally slow-moving, relying on gentle currents to access food. They can be solitary or found in small groups, often hiding in crevices during daylight hours to avoid predators.

At night, they emerge to feed and may relocate to find better feeding grounds, contributing to the overall health of reef ecosystems through their filter-feeding activities.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
  • Phylum: Echinodermata (Echinoderms)
  • Class: Holothuroidea (Sea cucumbers and sea apples)


  • Coral reefs
  • Tropical seas
  • Subtropical waters
  • Indo-Pacific region
  • Western Pacific
  • Eastern Pacific
  • Indian Ocean
  • Caribbean Sea
  • Red Sea
  • Great Barrier Reef

Fast Facts

  • Name: Sea apples
  • Scientific Name: Class Holothuroidea
  • Habitat: Coral reef ecosystems
  • Diet: Plankton, organic particles
  • Physical Features: Cylindrical, colorful bodies
  • Nocturnal: Active at night
  • Solitary: Can be solitary
  • Unique Order: Holothuroidea class
  • Lifespan: Several years
  • Conservation Status: Data deficient for most
  • Fun Facts: Vibrant reef inhabitants, filter-feeding prowess, important ecosystem role

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Vibrant, various hues
  • Skin Type: Soft, flexible dermis
  • Top Speed: Slow-moving marine animals
  • Lifespan: Several years to decades
  • Weight: Lightweight marine creatures
  • Length: Typically 10-30 centimeters
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: Varies by species
  • Age of Weaning: Not applicable; direct development


Q: What are sea apples?

Ans: They are marine animals belonging to the class Holothuroidea within the phylum Echinodermata.

Q: Where do sea apples live?

Ans: They inhabit coral reef ecosystems in tropical and subtropical seas around the world.

Q: Are sea apples related to apples?

Ans: No, they are not related to the fruit. The name "sea apple" is due to their color and shape.

Q: Do sea apples move?

Ans: Yes, they can crawl slowly across the coral reef substrate, but they are generally slow-moving animals.


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