Red Sea Urchin

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Description

The Red Sea Urchin (Mesocentrotus Franciscanus) is a Sea Urchin found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Baja California. It lives in shallow waters from the low-tide line to greater than 330′ feet deep, and is typically found on rocky shores sheltered from extreme wave action.

The Red Sea Urchin’s spherical body is completely covered by sharp spines that can grow up to 3.1″ inches. These spines grow on a hard shell called the “test”, which encloses the animal. The oldest Red Sea Urchins have been measured to be around 7.5″ inches in diameter. It can vary in color from red to dark burgundy. Rarely, albino specimens are found. A Red Sea Urchin has no visible eyes or legs. It has a mouth located on its underside, which is surrounded by five teeth. During larval development, the body of a Red Sea Urchin transitions from bilateral to radial symmetry.

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