Long Spine Sea Urchin

This is a long spine sea urchin.  It is also called long-spined sea urchin, lime urchin, or black sea urchin.  Sea urchins are in a group of animals called echinoderms, which also include sea stars.  Long spine sea urchins live in the Caribbean Sea and eat algae.

In 1983, throughout the Caribbean most of the long spine sea urchins died.  No one knows why for sure, but it was probably some kind of disease.  When that happened, the algae started to grow, grow, grow.  When that happened, there was less coral on the coral reefs.  When that happened, the fish and other animals that live at the coral reefs left.  When that happened, not as many people came to the Caribbean to snorkel and dive.

Recently, scientists have discovered that long spine sea urchins are making a comeback.

I think it is interesting that when something affects one animal, it can affect other animals, too.

I saw the long spine sea urchin in this picture at SeaWorld in the Manta Aquarium.  It was in the same tank as the scarlet cleaner shrimp and the peppermint shrimp.

About Raymie

Raymie is a 11 year old boy who loves animals. He is always looking around for new animals. He wants to be a zookeeper someday.
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