Slate pencil sea urchin

Slate pencil sea urchin

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Credit: ANDREW J. MARTINEZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Slate pencil sea urchin (Heterocentrotus mammillatus). Sea urchins are bottom-feeding creatures of the phylum Echinodermata. The sea urchin has several tube-like appendages called 'podia' (not seen) which it uses to move along the sea bed. The podia are tipped with adhesion cups. The mouth (not seen) opens onto the underside. The slate-pencil urchin has large, thick spines and lives in shallow water. The robust nature of the spines allow to withstand the turbulence of the waves. Its name comes from the fact that the spines were used to write on blackboards. Photographed in the Hawaiian Islands, USA.

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Keywords: animal, echinodermata, hawaiian island, heterocentrotus mammillatus, invertebrates, nature, sea urchin, slate-pencil, slate-pencil urchin, spine, wildlife, zoology

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