Sand dollars are amazing creatures that are in fact alive despite seeming like they do not move. Many people are familiar with the white ones you can buy at gift shops along the beaches, but the fact is that these are dead, dried up san dollars.


Live Sand Dollars have a leaf-like pattern on the top of the shell and have a hole in the bottom on the reverse side. The top has a fuzzy purplish top and bristles that move like thousands of little legs to help it be mobile on the sea floor.


In this video below from “Sea Something,” a girl shows how sand dollars move, as well as showing the difference between a live and a dead sand dollar. I had no idea how incredible these creatures were until I saw one up close!

If you are walking along the beach, please make sure to read the signs and do not take a live sand dollar. It is best to purchase the dead one’s gift shops find washed up on shore.

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