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Sea Urchin
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Scientific Name "Strongylocentrotus franciscanus"
Conservation Status Least Concern
Family Echinoderm
Habitat Intertidal in the west coast
Food seaweed, kelp, algae


The Red Sea Urchin is a Sea Urchin found in the Pacific ocean, from Alaska to Baja California. It lives in shallow waters from the low-tide line to 90 m deep, and is typically found on rocky shores that are sheltered from extreme wave action.

The animals have a mouth with special jaws (Aristotle's Lantern) located on the bottom (oral) surface. Their preferred diet is seaweeds, kelp and algae, which they scrape off and tear up from the sea floor. During larval development, urchins use bands of cilia to capture food from the water column.

Sea Urchins are often found living in clumps from five to ten. They have the ability to regenerate lost spines. Lifespan often exceeds 30 years, and scientists have found some specimens to be over 200 years old.

There is little threat to their lifestyle.

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