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Kina..New Zealand Sea Urchin

Sea urchins can be important consumers of rocky and soft-sediment habitats, and have been renowned for their capacity to alter habitat structure through their feeding activities. The best-known sea urchin in New Zealand is the endemic kina, Evechinus chloroticus, which can attain a large test size. Worldwide, there are about 800 species of echinoids.

In the New Zealand region, there are at least 90 species in 56 genera and 27 families, which contrasts with Australia’s echinoid fauna of 207 species in 95 genera and 32 families. Overall, at least 33% of the sea urchin species in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone are endemic.

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Red Sea Fire Urchin…

Asthenosoma marisrubri (‘flexible body of the Red Sea’) aka Red Sea Fire Urchin and Toxic Leather Sea Urchin , is a relatively common sea urchin with a widespread distribution in the Indo-Pacific, and it subsists on a great variety of food including algae, coral polyps and bottom detritus. It is most active at night and is named for the extreme pain inflicted by its spines and its occurrence in the Red Sea.

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Red sea urchins lining the seafloor can “see”….

Sea urchins may use the entire surfaces of their bodies—from the ends of their “feet” to the tips of their spines—as huge eyes.

Scientists had already known the marine invertebrates react to light without any obvious eye-like structures—raising the question of how the animals see.

Previous genetic analysis of the California purple sea urchin had revealed that the animals possess a large number of genes linked with the development of the retina—the light-sensitive tissue lining the inner eyeball in people and other vertebrates.

This and other research suggested that sea urchin might rely on light-receptor cells randomly scattered across their skin, which collectively function like retinas.

Scientists had theorized the animals’ spines simulate the light-blocking pigmented cells found in most animals’ eyes. Because light-receptor cells in the retina can soak up light from every direction, pigmented cells work to block light from the back and the sides so animals can “see” what’s in front of them.

Now, however, the scientists have found two distinct groups of bristly, light-receptor cells concentrated at the bases and tips of the purple sea urchin’s 1,400-plus tube feet. These long, suction-tipped tubes, located on the undersides of sea urchin bodies, help the organisms move.

The team suspects that sea urchins use their tube feet as retinas and the rest of their bodies to shield against the extra incoming light, said researcher Maria Ina Arnone, a developmental biologist at Anton Dohrn Zoological Station in Naples, Italy.

Prior studies did find the number and placement of spines on a sea urchin could affect how sharp its vision might be, and this new find “might well be part of the picture,” Arnone added.

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Sea Urchins..what you need to know..

Sea urchins (class Echinoidea) are animals with a round, rigid skeleton (test) made of interlocking calcite plates. The test is hollow inside, containing its various organs, and covered with lots of spines on the outside. They belong to a bigger group of animals called the spiny-skinned animals (phylum Echinodermata – “echino” roughly means “spiny”; “derma” roughly means “skin”). Examples of other echinoderms include sea stars, sea cucumbers, and feather stars.

long-spined sea urchin (Diadema setosum)

The spines can come in various forms – long or short, smooth or rough, sharp or blunt. They not only help the sea urchin to move, but deter predators as well. Some sea urchins are venomous, and hence it’s a good habit not to pick up any of them. The venom may be delivered by the spines or tiny stalk-like structures with biting jaws called “pedicellariae”.

Like other echinoderms, sea urchins generally have a five-part body plan with radial symmetry (i.e. pentaradial symmetry), at least in some stage of life. In other words, you can divide a sea urchin into 5 equal parts. Also, they are able to regenerate lost body parts – such as spines lost to predators. Echinoderms are brainless, but despite that, they can still perform their daily functions – they can move, they can eat, they can shit, and they can reproduce – all these without a brain! Also, instead of blood vessels, echinoderms have a water vascular system. This system is essentially a network of water-filled vessels used for internal transportation of oxygen, food and waste.

Salmacis

The mouth of a sea urchin is on its underside, comprising five elongated vertical jaws held together in a structure known as the Aristotle’s lantern. Sea urchins generally feed on algae and seagrasses, though some may scavenge. The anus is on the top side.

There are two main groups of sea urchins: the regular sea urchins with spherical tests; and irregular sea urchins with more flattened tests that are bilaterally symmetrical. The former generally lacks the Aristotle’s lantern as well. Interestingly, the regular sea urchins are usually found in seagrass meadows and coral reefs, while the irregular sea urchins are typically burrowers in sandy substrates. In Singapore, more than 20 species of sea urchins have been recorded.

If you step on one of these animals, be sure to have along our Sea Urchin First Aid Kit..it’s not just hot wax any more..Our kit has everything you need to provide first aid for an urchin wound..

Article and photo courtesy of Ron Yeo www.tidechaser.blogspot.com

Can Sea Urchins see you???

Researchers have known for a long time that sea urchins respond to abrupt changes in light. But they’ve been unsure about how they do it, because there are no structures that even remotely resemble eyes.

In 2009, though, researchers discovered that urchins have the same genes as those found in the retinas of humans and other creatures. The retina is the part of the eye that perceives light.

And two years later, they found bundles of light-sensitive structures on the bases and tips of their tube feet. Since a sea urchin has more than a thousand of these feet, it means they could have a couple of thousand “eyes.” The urchin’s vision isn’t very sharp, though — it reacts to big objects, but not to small ones. So it’s unclear whether it forms actual images of what’s around it, or just perceives changes in light.

Of course, the sea urchin does use its feet to clamber around the bottom of the ocean. But it doesn’t use all of them at the same time. So it’s possible that it uses some to get around, and some to keep an eye out for food, shelter, and predators.

Those bristly spines may also play a role in the sea urchin’s vision. They may shade some of the “eyes” from bright light — helping turn the entire creature into one big, prickly eyeball.

If you step on one of these animals, be sure to have along OCS Sea Urchin First Aid Kit..this isn’t hot wax and a burning candle; our kit is effecitive, medically proven first aid…

 

Article courtesy of  http://www.scienceandthesea.org

Fire Sea Urchin can be lethal…

Fire Sea Urchin

Fire Sea Urchin

The fire sea urchin not only has venom; it can also bite. The size of a baseball or smaller, it is still one of the deadliest creatures in the ocean. It injects its venom in two ways: its spines contain venom sacs, with the venom able to be injected directly into the wound through the spine; but it also has dozens of tiny jaws that snap shut on prey and inject the paralyzing toxin into its victim. These attractive but deadly urchins have killed humans before, and there is no antivenom.

 

Reblog from oddstuffmagazine.com

Beachhunter.net reviews OCS marine sting products…

Produced by David McRee from www.blogthebeach.com…David is not a member of the staff at OCS, he was not paid a fee for service nor does he sell our line of products.  Mr McRee provides helpful tips and information about a variety of human interest topics related to Florida beaches, beach safety and first aid treatments, beach and weather conditions, local news interests, hotel, restaurants, rentals and much more.  Please check out the Utube video.

 

http://www.blogthebeach.com/2012/nature/jellyfish/product-review-first-aid-kit-for-marine-animal-stings-jellyfish-stingrays-urchins-fire-coral