|Kingdom Animale | Phylum Echinodermata | Class Echinoidea|
These urchins prefer muddy sublittoral zones but are sometimes washed ashore. Their spines are short and do not break off easily and hence can be handled if one is careful. Like other urchins, their mouth is on the ventral surface, with a pair of powerful jaws used for scavenging. (Diameter up to 6cm).
Black Sea Urchin
These reef urchins are a danger to divers, swimmers and waders. Their long delicate spines are extremely sharp and painful. When they pierce flesh, the delicate tips break off, embedding themselves and are very difficult to remove. They graze on algae and scavenge. (Diameter up to 10cm).
These are irregular urchins which have reduced spines and an oval test (skeleton). They are scavengers, burrowing just below the sand surface. Live animals are rarely seen but their tests are occasionally found on the reef flats. (Diameter up to 9cm).
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP
@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre