This is Urchin…

This is Urchin…

Hehe! We just love a good pun! While we were exploring the kelp forests of Monterey Bay, we discovered these amazing creatures! They look like pin cushions, but they are live animals!

purple sea urchin

Range/Habitat: Southern Canada to Southern California/ coastal oceans, kelp forests
Diet: Herbivore: kelp, algae
Length: up to 3 inches in diameter
Conservation Status: vulnerable

Fun Facts:

  • Purple sea urchins are related to sea stars and sand dollars.
  • They have tube feet, pincers and purple spines. They use those tube feet to help move themselves.
  • Purple sea urchins call the rocky bottom of the kelp forest their home.
  • Sea otters and sunflower stars love to eat purple sea urchins!
Sunflower stars can swallow a purple urchin whole!

Sunflower stars can swallow a purple urchin whole!

Sea otters who consume large amounts of purple urchins have purple teeth!

Sea otters who consume large amounts of purple urchins have purple teeth!

 

  • Purple sea urchins can destroy a kelp forest if their numbers are not kept in check.
  • Young sea urchins have green spines!
  • Purple sea urchins breathe through their tube feet.

purple sea urchin2

Purple sea urchins are so cool! They are integral parts of the kelp forest habitat. They even have five segments, kind of like sea stars! We think we’ll stay away from those pointy spines though!

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, Uncategorized, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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