Heart Urchin (added 25 Jan 99) [104K]

This type of 1-1/2 inch oval-shaped heart urchin is not commonly seen, since it is adapted for living buried in the sand. The spines are numerous and sharp, though they are very thin and brittle, with alternating color bands of reddish-orange and white. For movement it uses spines along the underside. Sea urchins, heart urchins and sand dollars are members of class Echinoidea. The characteristic "petaloid" or flower-like patterns on its hard shell body are common to all Echinoids. The name Echinoidea means "like a hedge hog", referring to the fact that the body is covered with spines.

Identification: Eurypatagus ovalis

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