Purple Sea Urchin

The Purple Sea Urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) is a marine (saltwater) animal in the Parechinidae family of urchins. 

The Purple Sea Urchin is spherical with long, sharply-pointed purple spines. The spines can also be dark-brown, light-brown, or olive-green. It has 5-6 pairs of pores on each plate. It has tubed feet in groups of five or six in a small arc shape. It has a small mouth.

Purple Sea Urchin

It grows to 7 centimetres (3 inches) in diameter.

It is common in the Mediterranean Sea, south of France, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. It prefers shallow rock pools. It is benthic, because it lives on the bottom of the ocean.

The Purple Sea Urchin is a browser, feeding on algae and seagrass. Fish and crabs like to eat it.

Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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