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The Sand Dollar Legend

Lately we’ve had a more than usual amount of Sand Dollars on our beaches. Sand Dollars are a burrowing type of sea urchin in the same family as starfish and sea cucumbers. Most of the time what we find on the beach are dead sand dollars. This past month with rough sea and high tides we’ve seen live sand dollars. Their hard shell, which is actually their skeleton, is covered with velvety spines that are covered in hair. The colors range from green to blue to purple. These spines move them along and allow them to burrow into the sand. The spines on top are the animal’s gills allowing them to breathe under the sand.

Easter and Christmas bring us the Sand Dollar Legend. If you look at a dead sand dollar, you will see a star design on top which legend says represents the Star of Bethlehem and the Poinsettia, the Christmas Flower. The legend, break open the dead sand dollar and you will find five white doves inside releasing goodwill and peace. But please, never pick up a live sand dollar. Only the dead creatures that have been bleached by the sun have doves inside. Dead sand dollars have no hair covering and will be white or light gray. They can live between 6 and 8 years.

Photo and story by www.PhotoByVivian.com

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