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Purple Urchin: More Information

Description: Sea urchins are spheres, up to fist-sized, of richly purple spines.  The spines are long enough to take up perhaps a quarter of the overall height and width of the urchin—about ½ to 1½ inches long, depending on the size of the urchin.  Sometimes the urchin spines are tidy, arranged in neat rows radiating from the center top and down the sides to the bottom, other times the spines have pivoted about irregularly, giving the urchin a disheveled look.  The softer tissues beneath and between the spines is very dark purple—nearly black.  Some urchins have rocks or pieces of shells attached.  Most purple urchins on the Oregon Coast live in shallow, urchin-shaped pits.

Taxonomy:

       
  Kingdom Animalia  -- Animal, animals, animaux  
     Phylum Echinodermata Klein, 1734 -- bolacha da praia, échinodermes, echinoderms, equinoderma, equinodermata, estrela do mar, ouriço do mar  
        Subphylum Eleutherozoa Bather, 1900  
           Superclass Cryptosyringida Smith, 1984  
              Class Echinoidea Leske, 1778 -- bolacha da praia, châtaignes de mer, clypéastres, equinóide, heart urchins, heart urchins, ouriço do mar, oursins, sand dollars, sand dollars, sea urchins, sea urchins, urchins  
                 Order Echinoida Claus, 1876  
                    Family Strongylocentrotidae Gregory, 1900  
                       Genus Strongylocentrotus Brandt, 1835  
                          Species Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Stimpson, 1857)

Taxonomic information source: ITIS.gov