Where To Find Wildwood Sand Dollars?!
This is a question sent in from the Collin’s family from Media Pennsylvania. “Hey Joey, we just got back from visiting the Wildwoods for two weeks and my daughter had us searching every day for sand dollars. Where do you normally find them?”
That is a fantastic question!
Before we get started into how or where we find them let’s talk about what a sand dollar is.
A sand dollar is part of the ambulacra family and is a flat sea urchin. It is most recognizable to us as a white circle with a five-pointed shape on the back that looks similar to flower petals.
According to Monterey Bay Aquarium “Sand dollars play important part of the ocean ecosystem as they filter detritus and debris from the sandy sea floor and provide a tasty food source to many benthic [bottom of the ocean] predators including sea stars, crabs, fish and the occasional octopus.”
We are used to seeing sand dollars white and hard but when living they are gray-to-purple in color and covered in tiny hairs (cilia). By the time they make it to our shores, via the ocean current, their hairs and outer coating had shedded leaving only the exoskeleton behind.
Finally on to where you can find them in the Wildwoods.
It really comes down to “early bird gets the worm.” After the sunsets and most people are off the beach, the ocean still keeps crashing on the beach sending whatever’s in it’s current to the ocean’s edge.
As the sun rises and light fills the beach you can walk the water line and find these little guys before they wash away or get picked up by someone else.
There is no particular spot to find them. Just have your eyes wide and get searching!
The Monterey Bay Aquarium shared with us this amazing video of a sand dollar burying itself into the sand. Check it out below!
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