Sand dollars have a rigid skeleton (known as a test) consisting of calcium carbonate plates arranged in radial pattern. In live sand dollars the test is covered by a skin of velvet-textured spines that are covered with very small hairs (cilia).
A live sand dollar at Kye Bay
Dead sand dollars are missing the spines and are bleached white by sunlight. Black sand dollars are alive and should be left where they are.
If you want to gather live sand dollars you may do so Apr 1 – Mar 31 IF you have a valid BC Salt Water Fishing Licence.
and now you know…