Sea Urchin – a broken beauty

I enjoy wandering through the bush looking for flowers and other things to photograph. I can get ‘lost’ for many hours getting close up shots of tiny orchids and spectacular blooms alike. However this ability to become mesmerised by the ‘micro world’ is not limited to terrestrial environments. Give me a beach with a nice big rockshelf and a camera and I will need little additional entertainment for a number of hours!

I had never really spent much time looking in pools on rock platforms until I had the chance to join a field trip where the group spent a lot of time surveying the occupants of different aquatic rock ledges. This revealed a whole new world of interesting subjects to photograph and identify and I was hooked!

Beautiful Sea Urchin

My magical find – an intriguing Sea Urchin

Crimson and ruby coloured spines

Crimson and ruby coloured spines

One of the most fascinating things I ever came across was not in a pool, but lying next to one. I had no idea what it was, but took lots of photos and looked it up when I could. What caught my eye initially was the vivid colour and in the early sunshine it was wet and shiny.

Closeup of broken shell

Closeup of broken shell

If I have identified it correctly, it is a Heliocidaris tuberculata or to those of us who are not latin lovers: it is a type of sea urchin. This species is apparently common at Lord Howe Island, so I will have to go and visit there one day to find out if this really is the case!

Detail on the spines and their attachment 'cups'

Not very well focussed, but shows the detail on the spines and their attachment ‘cups’

What fascinated me most was the detail on the spines and the incredible beauty of the deep colours and the intricate grooves on the spines.

The ‘shell’ base was broken, which was probably why I could see so much detail in the spines.

This was such a lucky find and I really love these photos! My challenge now is to find more of these beautiful creatures and to get some other close up shots to see if they are all like this one.

Broken Sea Urchin shell

Broken Sea Urchin shell

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6 Responses to Sea Urchin – a broken beauty

  1. scrapydo says:

    Incredible! Lovely photos.

    Like

  2. Lovely and interesting photos!

    I can also get completely absorbed when I’m walking around with a camera. Find photo-walks very relaxing. Our dog, who has to often wait for me, finds it less so! 🙂

    Like

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