Members of the Elpidiidae have particularly enlarged tube "feet" that have taken on a leg-like appearance, using water cavities within the skin to inflate and deflate the appendages to move. The "horns" on its back are also actually legs. Scotoplanes modify surficial elements in the ocean by moving through the sediment like a bulldozer. While the Scotoplanes move through the sediment, they disrupt the surface and the resident infauna as it feeds.
Scotoplanes live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, typically at depths of over 1,200–5,000 metres. Some related species can be found in the Antarctic. Scotoplanes (and all deep-sea holothurians) are deposit feeders, and obtain food by extracting organic particles from deep-sea mud. Scotoplanes globosa has been observed to demonstrate strong preferences for rich, organic food that has freshly fallen from the ocean's surface, and uses olfaction to locate preferred food sources such as whale corpses. Scotoplanes have very fragile bodies; if they get caught in a trawler they break apart like jell-o. Scotoplanes, like many sea cucumbers, often occur in huge densities, sometimes numbering in the hundreds when observed. Early collections have recorded groups of up to 300-600 individuals. Sea pigs are also known to host different parasitic invertebrates, including gastropods (snails) and small tanaid crustaceans.
Scotoplanes sp, like other sea cucumbers, host parasitic and commensal organisms. For example, it provides a shelter to juvenile crabs, Neolithodes diomedeae. It is known that such relationship benefits the crabs because they can reduce risks of predation when they are under the shelter.
Scotoplanes can be as big as up to 4-6" (15 cm) long.
The genus includes the following species:
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- Barry, James P.; Taylor, Josi R.; Kuhnz, Linda A.; De Vogelaere, Andrew P. (2017). "Symbiosis between the holothurian Scotoplanes sp. A and the lithodid crab Neolithodes diomedeae on a featureless bathyal sediment plain". Marine Ecology. 38 (2): e12396. Bibcode:2017MarEc..38E2396B. doi:10.1111/maec.12396.
- Bates, Mary (2014-06-16). "The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About Sea Pigs". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
- MarineSpecies.org – Scotoplanes
- Scotoplanes article and photos on Echinoblog
- Sea pigs? Gross or cool? on Animal Planet website
- Sea Cucumbers: Holothuroidea – Sea Pig (scotoplanes Globosa): Species Accounts at Animal Life Resource
-  Neptune Canada "Sea Pig Slow Dance"
- Scotoplanes as a refuge for crabs
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