Tube feet

Tube feet. They constitute the locomotion system of echinoderms . They are formed by hollow cylinders, with thick and muscular walls that end in suckers and work in concert with an aquiferous vascular system that runs through them, favoring the fixation, displacement and capture of prey.


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  • 1 Description
  • 2 functions
    • 1 Ambulatory apparatus
    • 2Sistema vascular
  • 3 Fountains


Echinoderms are the only animals capable of making sea water circulate through their body through special conduits that constitute the Ambulacral or Aquifer System. This system has tiny endings in the form of suckers, called tube feet, used for locomotion and food capture. These tube feet are found on its oral face, that is, the one that is at the level of the animal’s mouth, and because its movement depends on the pressure of the water, it is limited in strength and speed.


The characteristic apparatus of echinoderms is the ambulacral (it is made up of a set of tubes through which sea water circulates) which acts, simultaneously, as an organ of locomotion and respiration.

ambulacral device

The ambulacral apparatus is a complex system of fluid-filled ducts and reservoirs that intervenes in internal transport and hydraulically activates fleshy projections called tube feet, whose external parts ( podia ) can perform various functions, such as locomotion, exchange gaseous, feeding, attachment to the substrate and sensory perception.

vascular system

The aquiferous vascular system opens to the outside through the madreporite or madreporic plate (except in crinoids and holothuroids). The fluid of the vascular system is similar to seawater, except for the presence of coelomocytes, protein , and a higher concentration of potassium ions .


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