|DLNR image - basket o urchins|
Just a short entry this week on one of the animals in our observation tank, the Collector urchin, Tripneustes gratilla or hāwa 'e maoli. You all probably know of their use in controlling the invasive seaweeds (DLNR Press Release with lots of great pictures) and most folks appreciate their lack of long venomous spines (like the wana or diadem urchins). We also tend to appreciate their propensity for collecting bits of substrate and holding it with their suction tube feet. These items may serve as ballast, camouflage, food, or more.
|Pedicillaria - more images from the blog below.|
Image Livington, Copyright BIODAC
For a very nice blog on the pincers themselves, I suggest you go to Jim Lemire's site, "From Archaea to Zeaxanthol - DNA, Darwin, and a bottle of rum...not necessarily in that order" for the article Weekly Urchin: Pedicillaria. He explains why urchins are cooler than the snail group.