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6 Facts You Didn't Know About Sea Urchins

6 Facts You Didn't Know About Sea Urchins

Can you tell we love sea urchins? We named our business “Little Urchin” for a reason!

Sea Urchin: how do you know where my face is?
Octopus: “I can sea ur chin”

Like humans, sea urchins are sensitive to light and chemicals. In fact, these clever little fellows have evolved to create their own natural sunscreen to protect their young from the sun’s harsh rays. These amazing critters are full of delightful and surprising examples of Mother Nature at her best. Here's 6 facts you probably didn't know about sea urchins!

 

 

1. Strangely enough, urchin, comes from the 13th century French word ‘yrichon,’ which means “hedgehog.” Makes sense when you compare similarities!

2. I bet you didn’t know that certain species of these creatures are known to live more than 100 years without showing any biological signs of ageing. Some of them can pretty much keep on living unless eaten or injured.

3. Their mouth is called “Aristotle’s Lantern”  and they will eat pretty much anything they come across; kelp, sea cucumbers, algae, plankton, decaying ocean life etc. They are particularly useful for keeping coral clean of algae overgrowth, which can smother them and stop the coral from absorbing sunlight. Their teeth are often self-sharpening, and grow again every couple of years.

4. Certain sea urchins, in particular, the families Diadematidae and Echinothuriidae, can inflict very painful stings with their venom. A typical puncture can cause redness and swelling and may cause further infection if left untreated. Best to leave them alone if you see any!

5. Our urchin friends can also be found in every ocean on the planet! With 950 species of urchin, we can be certain that they have adapted to live in water of all temperatures, with some species preferring the shallows, with others preferring kelp forests or a rocky sea bed. (via capeclasp.com)

6. Sea Urchins could be a key to tackling climate change! They are being studied for their abilities to use nickel ions take carbon dioxide out of the water to form their exoskeletons and develop. This could be a way to capture CO2.

These mates of ours are not only the inspiration for the Little Urchin name, but are doing a bloody good job of protecting our coral reefs from algae overgrowth and showing us the way to tackling climate change, two major causes at the heart of what we do at LU.