Hidden urchins are superb find
ONE of the more widespread sea urchin species to be found on British shores is the shore urchin, which is also named the green sea urchin and more commonly known as the purple-tipped sea urchin. This delightful creature has a small shell, or test, which comprises calcite plates with small spikes. And if damaged, the spikes can regrow. But all the spikes fall off when the creature dies. The mouth is on the underside of the test and the urchin grazes the rock face on algae and other plant material. Sea urchins are omnivores and can also feed on a range of barnacle species. The urchin moves using its tubed feet, each of which ends in a sucker. The purple-tipped sea urchin can be found in rock pools very close to the extreme low water mark and is hard to find as it is usually well camouflaged. The specimen pictured was found washed up on the shoreline after some typical winter weather.
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A violet-tipped sea urchin