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Sea Squirt

Sea Squirt (Urochordata)Sea Squirt (Urochordata)Sea Squirt (Urochordata)Sea Squirt (Urochordata)Sea Squirt (Urochordata)
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Sea Squirt Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
Common Name:
Most widely used name for this species
Sea Squirt
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
3-30cm (1.2-11.8in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
100-200g (3.5-7oz)
Number Of Species:
The total number of recorded species
Average Lifespan:
The average time the animal lives for
7-30 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Green, Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Coastal Waters
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Plankton, Algae, Nutrients In Water
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Eels, Snails, Starfish
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Long tube-like appearance

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Sea Squirt Location

Map of Sea Squirt Locations

Sea Squirt

The sea squirt is an immobile filter feeder that live on the ocean floor. Despite their plant-like appearance, sea squirts are actually more closely related to vertebrates than they are to invertebrates such as sponges and coral.

There are more than 3,000 known sea squirt species found on the seabed around the world, with the majority of sea squirt species being found in the warmer, nutrient-rich tropical waters. Sea squirts can vary from just 3cm to 30cm in length depending on the species of sea squirt and its habitat.

Sea squirts can be found in variety of colours and shapes due to the fact that their bodies are made of one solid structure (rather than having a skeleton), which is protected by a membrane just a few cells thick. Sea squirts are normally cylindrical in shape, but can also be round or even bell-shaped.

Sea squirts are filter feeders which means that they feed by filtering the nutritious particles out of the water. Sea squirts filter the sea water through slits in their membranes, taking food and water in and letting waste and excess water out.

Sea squirts primarily feed on the plankton and nutrients in the water along with the algae that grows on them. Many larger sea squirt species have stick tentacle-like appendages which catch food particles as they float past. Some really large species of sea squirts that are found in the deep ocean, are even known to trap and ingest small animal including fish and jellyfish.

Due to the fact that sea squirts attach themselves to objects from a very young age, they are often sitting targets for hungry passers. Snails, crustaceans and eels are the most common predators of the sea squirt along with some species of larger fish.

Sea squirts have both male and female reproductive organs making self-fertilisation possible but unlikely. The sea squirts release their eggs and sperm into the water which become fertilised and part of the plankton. The sea squirt larvae hatches out of the eggs and makes it way down to the ocean floor in search for somewhere to anchor itself.

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First Published: 4th January 2010, Last Updated: 10th September 2018

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 04 Jan 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 04 Jan 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 04 Jan 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 04 Jan 2010]