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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Sea Potato Echninocardium cordatum

Most sea urchins live in rocky areas, but the sea potato or heart urchin burrows in the sand. Unlike regular urchins, it has a distinct front end and its spines are thin and flattened. Special spoon-shaped spines on the urchin’s underside help it to dig, while longer spines on its back allow water to funnel down into its burrow to be used for respiration. The dried shell, or test, of this urchin resembles a potato, hence the common name.

Sea Potatozoom image
  • Class Echinoidea
  • Length Up to 3 in (9 cm)
  • Depth 0–650 ft (0–200 m)
  • Habitat Sand, muddy sand
  • Distribution Temperate waters of northeastern Atlantic
Sea Potato habitat mapzoom image