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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Edible Sea Urchin Echinus esculentus

The edible sea urchin is a large, spherical urchin covered with uniform short spines that give it the appearance of a fat hedgehog. It is generally a pinkish color, with pairs of darker, radiating lines where its numerous tube feet emerge. Edible sea urchins are important grazers and can have much the same effect underwater as rabbits do on land, leaving the rocks covered only in hard pink encrusting algae. As their name suggests, the roe of this species can be eaten.

Edible Sea Urchinzoom image
  • Class Echinoidea
  • Diameter Up to 6 in (16 cm)
  • Depth 0–160 ft (0–50 m)
  • Habitat Rocky areas
  • Distribution Temperate waters of northeastern Atlantic
Edible Sea Urchin habitat mapzoom image