Tuesday, July 12, 2011

California Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus)

California Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus)

Me + California Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus)
These California purple sea urchins were seen in a tidal pool on Laguna Beach on the afternoon of January 29th around 3:30PM. I had to walk across craggy rocks barefoot in order to get a look at these guys, but it was worth it. Chris Bremer, who took the pictures, was lucky enough to have shoes on.

Here I am shortly after finishing observing the sea urchins, giving my feet a rest before walking back across the craggy rocks. The best I can tell, the surface of the rock was sharp and porous, with a lot of broken shells everywhere.

Sea urchins are really cool, especially when you don't expect to come across them. I'm not sure about the conservation status of these particular sea urchins on Laguna Beach, but there was a guy with a clipboard nearby that was paid by the city to make sure people didn't like pick them up or pee in the tidal pool. He wasn't obvious- he was sitting off to the side on the sand waiting for people to brave the rocks before he approached. In fact, I'm not sure he wasn't a rocky intertidal zone hippie activist.

Anyway, these urchins are only found in the Pacific, and you can read more about them here.

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