LIONEL, TIM & ALISTAIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIONEL, TIM & ALISTAIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Slate pencil sea urchin (Heterocentrotus mammilatus). The sea urchin is a marine invertebrate related to starfish. It has a spherical shell that is covered with spines for protection. The slate pencil sea urchin has particularly thick spines to withstand the turbulent water of its shallow water habitat. It is named for the fact that its spines were once used to write on blackboards. The sea urchin uses tube feet (podia) to crawl over rocks on the seabed. Its mouth is also on its underside, allowing its jaws to scrape algae growing on the rock. The slate pencil sea urchin lives in the Red Sea, and Indian and Pacific Oceans.
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