Latest Articles from our Partners

At the Beach: The Fascination of Sea Urchins

Sea Urchins are an unusual animal which provide an endless source of fascination. They are closely related to sea stars, sharing the same five-fold symmetry, and they too move about on hundreds of hydraulically operated tube feet.

Regular urchins are spherical animals with a case or shell of close-fitting limy plates. Sea urchins have spines that protect them from predators. However, it is mostly the hard outer shell, from which the spines have usually broken off, that is found washed up on beaches.

Sea Urchins


"The weather is nice, the sea water is warm, you are going to walk along the seashore, among wave foam which is reaching the beach and refreshing your feet.... Suddenly you sense a puncture under your toe: a sea urchin, hidden under a clump of algae, has defended itself against your foot's aggression! You are angry with the creature, because your toe is painful and also because urchin spines are very difficult to remove. But spines are its unique and passive defence against predators. (Even in its own family: the starfish which is also an ECHINODERM doesn't hesitate to eat its cousins!) (Picture:Strongylocentrotus.)

To console the unfortunate walker, some stages of sea urchin development are very beautiful to observe (and with no danger). At first sight, this echinoderm doesn't have an attractive appearance and it seems not to have interesting microscopic features. It is even repellent: a popular French expression about a man's avariciousness is: 'He has sea urchins inside his pockets'!" 


Sea Urchins


The sea urchin in found across the ocean floors worldwide, but rarely in the colder, polar regions. Sea urchins are commonly found along the rocky ocean floor in both shallow and deeper water and sea urchins are also commonly found inhabiting coral reefs.
There are nearly 200 different species of recognised sea urchin, that come in all shapes and sizes.


Sea Urchins


Fun Facts about Sea Urchins:
  • Sea urchins are able to clone themselves.
  • A sea urchin has no brain. Instead it has a nerve ring, used to power it’s tube feet.
  • All sea urchins has five continuously growing teeth; useful feeding tools. They use their teeth for scraping algae, their favorite food, off of rocks.

Sea Urchins


"The little sea urchin on top is quite unusual. It was discovered by a research vessel near New Caledonia at a depth of 1000 ft." ~ Steve Jurvetson


Sea Urchins



Visit our Beach Cottage Decorating article about DECORATING WITH SEA URCHINS!

Resources:
http://joanreednewman.com/fun-facts-for-kids


Her fingers moved among barnacles and mussels, blue-black, sharp-edged. Neon red starfish were limp Dalis on the rocks, surrounded by bouquets of stinging anemones and purple bursts of spiny sea urchins.”  ― Janet FitchWhite Oleander

2 comments:

  1. Interesting! I learned some things I never knew. Thanks for "urchin school".

    Smiles,
    Lesli @ BeautifullyCoastal.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fascinating creatures....good post. They are so wonderful to decorate with too.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting us, we would love to hear what you think - - Have a beachy day!

**We love to reply to your comment, so please make sure your profile shows your email address, it makes it much easier! :O)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.