Echinocardium cordatum is a sea urchin that may reach 9 cm in length.
The thin test is globular, slightly oval and its upper face is flattened. It is densely covered by
yellowish short thin spines. As it lives buried in sand or mud, this type of spines creates a
ventilated space between sand and its tegument
preventing asphyxiation. It can bury 10 cm deep in sand where it feeds on various micro-organisms.
It is found from 5 m to 200 m deep, in the Atlantic Ocean from Norway to South-Africa, in the English channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Phylum Echinodermata, class Echinoidea, order Spatangoida, family Loveniidae, Echinocardium cordatum (Pennant, 1777).
(source : European Register of Marine Species)
Test : Rigid skeleton of sea urchins.
Top photograph :
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission :
Echinocardium cordatum, Baie de Concarneau, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 5 meters.
Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005-2017.
Translation : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2017.