Echinus esculentus is a globular sea urchin between 10 and 17 cm in diameter. Spines are short, around 1,5 cm long, thick and regular. Their colour is variable: greenish or pale purple. The thick test is purple and red with five clearer bands on the ambulacral plates. When extending, tube-feet are clearly visible among the spines. They are used to adhere to subtratum. The common sea urchin lives on rocks where it feeds on seaweeds, especially laminaria, or bryozoans or other small invertebrates.
Echinus esculentus is found from surface to 50 m deep, and sometimes at depths up to 1200m, in the Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Portugal, in the English Channel and the North sea.
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Source : World Register of Marine Species
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Test : rigid skeleton of sea urchins.
Ambulacral plates : Test plates pierced by numerous holes through which tube-feet can extend.
Tube foot : tube-shaped element ending by a sucker-disc used to attach to subtratum.
Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005 - 2022.
Photos : ©
Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography
Bay-Nouailhat A., November 2005, Description of Echinus esculentus, [On line] https://european-marine-life.org/30/echinus-esculentus.php, consulted on 2022 August 15.
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