sand dollar

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sand dollar,

common name for a marine animal in the same phylum as the starfish (see sea starsea star,
also called starfish, echinoderm of the class Asteroidae, common in tide pools. Sea stars vary in size from under 1-2 in. (1.3 cm) to over 3 ft (90 cm) in diameter. They are commonly dull shades of yellow or orange, but there are many brightly colored ones as well.
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). The sand dollar has a rigid, flattened, disk-shaped test, or shell, made of firmly united plates lying just beneath the thin skin. Small spines that densely cover the test enable the animal to burrow in sand just below the surface. Like other members of its class, the sand dollar is radially symmetrical. It also shows evidence of a secondary bilateral symmetry, i.e., the mouth is centered on the oral (under) surface, but the anus lies near the rear edge of the test. Tube feet are similar to those in other echinoderms and are used for locomotion and to convey small food particles, mostly organic matter found in sand, to the mouth. Tube feet on the upper surface are used for respiration. Sand dollars differ from the closely related heart urchins by their shorter spines and more flattened shape. More convex, short-spined sand dollars are called sea biscuits. Sand dollars are abundant on the sandy bottom of deeper waters on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They are classified in the phylum EchinodermataEchinodermata
[Gr.,=spiny skin], phylum of exclusively marine bottom-dwelling invertebrates having external skeletons of calcareous plates just beneath the skin. The plates may be solidly fused together, as in sea urchins, loosely articulated to facilitate movement, as in sea
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, class Echinoidea, order Clypeastroida.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Sand Dollar

Holy Ghost Shell

Some people consider the sand dollar a natural symbol of the birth and death of Jesus Christ. For this reason it acquired the folk name Holy Ghost Shell. A little poem by an anonymous author, entitled "Legend of the Sand Dollar," explains this symbolism:

There's a pretty little legend That I would like to tell Of the birth and death of Jesus Found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely You'll see that you find here Four nail holes and a fifth one Made by a Roman spear. On one side the Easter lily Its center is the star That appeared unto the shepherds And led them from afar.

The Christmas poinsettia Etched on the other side Reminds us of his birthday Our happy Christmastide.

Now break the center open And here you will release The five white doves awaiting To spread good will and peace.

This simple little symbol Christ left for you and me To help us spread his gospel Through all eternity.

Further Reading

Lord, Priscilla Sawyer, and Daniel J. Foley. Easter Garland. 1963. Reprint. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 1999.

Web Site

Many versions of this poem can be found online. The one reprinted above comes from:
Encyclopedia of Easter, Carnival, and Lent, 1st ed. © Omnigraphics, Inc. 2002

sand dollar

[′san ‚däl·ər]
(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for the flat, disk-shaped echinoderms belonging to the order Clypeasteroida.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Our previous work has demonstrated that precompetent sand dollar larvae (for definitions, see Hodin et ah, 2015, 2018a) become competent to settle when exposed to 3 minutes of intense fluid turbulence.
According to legend, she explained, the sand dollar is also called the Holy Ghost Shell and is said to tell the story of the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.
The low abundance of the sand dollar during the rainy seasons, and its slight increment in dry seasons cores (Figs.
Industrious triggers repeated the action until the sand dollar landed in the right position.
The sand dollar echinoid Periarchus lyelli (Conrad) is a distinctive and well-known element of the fauna of Upper Eocene (Jackson) marls and limestones across the eastern Gulf of Mexico and lower Atlantic coastal plain.
There's a PADI (Professional Association Of Diving Instructors) resort - the Sand Dollar - which has a range of courses, including boat-dive packages of five days at pounds 211pp or Open Water course at pounds 254pp.
Martin describes Cover Girl NailSlicks as an "easy, breezy manicure in one step." Shades include classic red, pink bliss, plum frost and sand dollar.
The Chumash Indians saw a connection between lines radiating from a sand dollar's mouth and the Sun's rays.
For a more varied experience, the Sand Dollar Beach Resort (85 rooms) features a week-long adventure package that includes nature tours, snorkeling, diving, mountain biking and an unforgettable kayak tour of the island's extensive mangrove forests.
"A sand dollar! I've never beena ble to find a sand dollar."
Key words.--Anatomy, apical system, clypeasteroid, Dendrasteridae, development, eccentricity, echinoid, evolution, periproct, peristome, sand dollar.
We describe the induction of polyembryony in embryos of the sand dollar Echinarachnius parma and the pencil urchin Eucidaris tribuloides in response to elevated temperature and reduced salinity.