Sea Urchins are becomingly increasingly well known in the world of seafood as Uni, which is in fact the gonads of the creature rather than the creature itself! Of all urchins that would undergo the unfortunate process of having their gonads removed, the Slate Pencil Urchin (Eucidaris tribuloides) is probably the least likely to have to worry. It uses its thickened spines to wedge itself in rocky crevices, and is extremely difficult to remove….pretty much impossible in fact. In the Caribbean, the only species of sea urchin that is collected for food is the West Indian Sea Egg, which spends its time grazing on open rocks or within sea grass beds, and has short, white, relatively blunt spines. It is consequently very easy to collect!
The Slate Pencil Urchin, whose remains are often found washed up on beaches (as in our design print featured here), like many other urchin species, is only usually active at night when it leaves its protective rocky crevice to roam around the nearby area while feeding primarily on sponges and corals. Of all the Caribbean urchins, it is probably the most lazy, having been classified as a ‘sluggish echinoid’ by ecologists! An atypical sofa hound thats for sure!
About Reef Creature Clothing
We specialise in not only coral reef inspired athleisure wear, but also beach & swim wear, and other printed products. All our colourful and vibrant designs are made using digitally enhanced prints of real underwater photographs taken in the Caribbean. We donate all of our profits after costs to The Coral Reef Research Hub, a small non-profit organisation that seeks to help fund research projects undertaken by early career coral reef scientists. The projects funded are those that aim to contribute information that will hopefully lead to legislative change, and thus help to protect coral reefs and their associated resources for generations to come!
We write these regular ‘creature features’ to help you learn more about the fascinating inhabitants of the coral reefs where our images came from. More will continue to be posted over the coming months so watch this space!