January 18th 2012

Photo Number 18. Topic = Eucidaris tribuloides

The topic name sounds like a Harry Potter spell but I promise no tricks or potions were used here. I did not even edit this photo one bit. The topic name is this creatures technical name but you may or may not know him as the Pencil Urchin. I went to a museum with a friend of mine today and I thought this little guy was fasinating. Here is some quick facts about the pencil urchin.   It has a brown, sometimes mottled body with stubby, thick spines radiating out in all directions. The spines are surrounded by basal plates. Never try to pry it out of a hole, as you will break its spines before it lets go. As it ages, its spines may become covered with coralline and other types of algae. During the day it will seek shelter in the rocks; at night it will come out and forage for food, looking particularly for algae lawns and smaller invertebrates like sea squirts or sponges. It can be destructive to corals. Well I hope you have had a nice biology lesson today!

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