Sea Urchin

There are several species of Sea Urchin in Irish waters, of which the Edible Sea Urchin is the largest and best known. It has a tough, orange coloured shell (known as a test), protected by an array of short, sharp spines. In between the spines are hundreds of suckers which allow the Urchin to move, and also to transfer food from anywhere on its shell to its mouth, which is central on its underside.


Sea Urchins belong to the Echinoderm phylum (group) , which also includes the Starfish. All Echinoderms have a five-rayed symmetry. The most obvious example of this is the five arms of the Common Starfish. You can think of a Sea Urchin as a Starfish curled in a ball, as its shell is made up of five even segments.

Sea Urchins meaner around under the low water mark, grazing algae from rocks and pier stacks, and scavenging on scraps of meat they come across. They breed by releasing eggs into the water at the same time as their neighbours, and fertilisation takes place in the water column.


Name:     Edible Sea Urchin     Size:     18cm diameter
Other Name(s) :     N/A     Weight:     500g
Irish Name :          Lifespan:     

10 years
Scientific Name :          Habitat:     

.
Edible:     

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Where in Ireland is it found?:    
Food:


Interesting Fact :

t.

Name:

Edible Sea Urchin

Size::

18cm diameter

Other Name(s):

n/a

Weight:

500g

Irish Name:

Cuán mara

Lifespan:

10 years

Scientific Name:

Echinus esculentus

Habitat:

Mainly shallow regions on rocky shores, just below the low-tide mark. Frequents harbours where it climbs the piles

Edible:

Not really, but gonads eaten in Far East

Irish Distribution:

Around the entire coast

Food:

Sea-weed and small crustaceans

Interesting Fact:

Edible Sea Urchins thrive in many harbours, where they have been discarded by Lobster and Edible Crab fishermen, whose creels they have wandered into