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The Seashore

Edible Sea Urchin (Echinus esculentus)

Edible Sea Urchin (Echinus esculentus)

This is the largest sea urchin, 6 - 12 cms in diameter, that you are likely to encounter. The rounded body has the mouth at the centre underneath. The entire surface is covered by the long tube feet that move it along.

Due to its large size they represent a very important grazer as it can cause considerable damage to the kelp forest. It is affected adversely by high temperatures and in southern regions it is restricted to deep water. This is a rocky shore species and is found in the extreme lower shore - it cannot survive long out of water. The tube feet enables the urchin to anchor itself to the substrate in the surf and so can live in most levels of exposure.

An Atlantic and Channel sea urchin.


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