Rock-boring Urchin (Echinometra lucunter)

Also known as Burrowing Urchin, Red Rock Urchin, Stone Urchin, Tropical Sea Urchin

Description

Also known as Burrowing Urchin, Red Rock Urchin, Stone Urchin, Tropical Sea Urchin.

Found in shallow waters burrowed into coral, limestone, under rock slabs and in seagrass beds over coral reef.
They feed nocturnally on algae.
Length - 15cm
Depth - 0-45m
Widespread Western Central Atlantic, Caribbean

The spines on the side of these sea urchins are worn down by continual abrasion trying to stay in the hole while the longer dorsal spines act as a defence against predators.

Sea Urchins use tubed feet to get around, often in large impenetrable masses for protection.
Sometimes they hitch a lift on the back of crabs.
They have well developed jaws for grinding their prey.
Their anus is on top in most sea urchins, except the heart urchins where it is at the rear.
Predators of sea urchins are triggerfish and large wrasses, who nibble away at their spines before turning them over to eat the fleshy undersides.
Sea Urchins are highly venomous and can piece through a wet-suit.
Some are sensitive to light and have the ability to shoot venom loaded spines at a short distance.
To be avoided!! Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinometra_lucunter

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