Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sea urchins

Beachcombing (or rather walking on the beach with your head down, searching for surprises) sometimes seems like a mere search for dead or dying animals and plants for me. That's why snorkeling would make a more enjoyable hobby for me.

Anyway, sometimes even dead things can be quite interesting or even unnerving, like these two sea urchins (actually their skeletons or tests) .

I have never seen a purple one before this. It looked really nice in purple. In fact, it resembles a piece of furniture or some wall decoration that you would find in a trendy living room.

When I turned it upside down, I could see its teeth - all five of them - made of calcium carbonate.
And where is the anus? On the upper surface.
(In other words, this animal sat on its mouth with its anus pointing upwards.)

Its remaining spines

When I first saw this, I thought of a jewelery box. I don't' know why.
This one really looked a bit unnerving to me. It just looked like it would burst open anytime, revealing some big, muscular tentacles that would dance in the air or worse still, shoot towards my face!

Again, upside down, teeth showing.

It probably won't find a place in a trendy living room, but in a horror movie.


lindawhitefeather said...

Thank you for posting your urchin pics. I am an artist and design urchins in clay for a current body of work. I have never seen the teeth of an urchin and found it very interesting. I will definitely use this information in my next piece.
Thank you, again.
My website is

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Dear Linda,

Glad to know that you find them useful too.


Anonymous said...

thanks for these pics, i have been trying see how the teeth looks and this is the best pic i have found.