Sea Urchin - What Do We Know About Sea-Urchins?

To understand the extraordinary life of sea urchins, you need to know these interesting facts.

How big are sea urchins"

They are not gigantic creatures at all. Average size is typically 1-3 inches (3-10 cm)

How many species of sea-urchins can we find in the oceans?

Over 700.  Yep, too many of them all around the world.

How long do they live? 

Usually between 4 and 10 years. But there is an exception; Red Sea Urchin can live up to 200 years! they, you are not reading it wrong; two hundred years. It is one of the longest lived animals on earth.

Mouth of a Black Sea urchin ( Arbacia lixula ) upside down
What Do We Know About Sea-Urchins?

Where do they live? Where in the world can I find them?
Everywhere! Sea-Urchins are found almost every corner of the world.
They habitat along the ocean/sea floor in shallow to deep water, coral reefs, rocky bottoms, from warm seas to polar oceans.

What do they eat? What's their favourite dinner?
Sea urchins are omnivores. Yes, sound a bit greedy. But actually not.  They mainly feed on algae on rocks and coral and but also can feed on wide range of invertebrates.

And who loves to eat them? Are there any predators to sea urchins?
Oh yes. Birds, crabs, fish, sea otters, lobsters, eels.. and.. and humans!

Are they active whole day?
No. Sea urchins are nocturnal. They usually hide in holes or crevices during the day.

Where are the eyes of an sea urchin? 
Sea urchins have no visible eyes. Freaky? :)

A deep sea urchin (Hawaii)
Sea Urchins and Fishing

Reproduction?
Females produce eggs usually when they reach 1 year maturity.  Once a year (usually spring/summer), females release millions of eggs into water for males to fertilize.  Several months are needed for the larva to complete its development.

Do They Attack Humans?
Oh no! Good Lord they don't. Imagine they jump in your face with those tube legs :)

Is it a delicious sea food? Have you ever tasted a sea urchin?
I have. But I didn't like it much to be honest. But many people love it. Especially in Italy, Japan, California, Korea, Chile. Japanese sea food lovers adore it.

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