Sea Urchin Teeth: Everything You Need To Know

The sea urchin is a member of the class Echinoidea and order Echinoida. Identified in most of the world’s oceans, the sea urchin has up to 950 different species and is known for its somewhat wonderful lifespan which occasionally extends up to 200 yrs. Even even though they live in oceans, sea urchins simply cannot swim, which is why they inhabit ocean flooring. That’s 1 of a number of attention-grabbing specifics about them. 

Mere looking at a sea urchin, most people would assume they really don’t have teeth. In this write-up, we’ll be examining the factuality of that assertion when looking into other related particulars. Shall we?

Do Sea Urchins Have Teeth?

Red Sea Urchin
The teeth of sea urchins have been a big factor of study and critical investigation for specialists and researchers.

© NatureDiver/

Sea urchins are compact sea creatures with shells filled with porcupine-like spines. Provided their spiny exterior and total look, it’s fairly tricky to picture them with purposeful teeth. Even with all of that, the fact is, sea urchins have tooth. As a matter of actuality, their enamel have been a key aspect of examine and essential investigate for specialists and scientists since of their peculiarities. 

How Several Teeth Do Sea Urchins Have?

Top 10 Animals That Have Shells - sea urchin
Sea urchins have 5 tooth.

Sea urchins have teeth, numbering up to five every across all their species. Just about every of the five tooth is held by a distinctive jaw inside of a circular composition observed suitable at the center of their spherical shells. Their tooth are produced of great crystals of magnesium calcite, which are much harder than standard pure calcite. Significantly of this magnesium is concentrated at the suggestion of just about every tooth which tends to make grinding via difficult rock a ton additional successful. 

Do Sea Urchins Bite?

Specified their calcitic, polycrystalline tooth, sea urchins are much more than able of biting. Whilst this is a rarity, sea urchins chunk and some species even have the potential to inflict venomous bites. Considering the hardness and abrasiveness of their teeth, a sea urchin’s chunk absolutely hurts badly and can cause serious accidents, which may perhaps show fatal down the line.

Do Sea Urchins Sting?

Sea urchins sting way additional than they bite due to the fact their bodies are nearly included in calcium-abundant spines, developed to ward off predators. However, stubborn predators who go shut to them will probably conclude up with agonizing spines in their skins. 

Also, some sea urchin species have venomous spines which could cause pain alongside perhaps lethal consequences. An example of a venomous sea urchin is the flower urchin, generally found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. 

What Do Sea Urchins Try to eat?

What do Sea Urchins Eat
As omnivores, sea urchins involve algae, sponges, and fish carcasses in their food plan.


Sea urchins are omnivores that consume algae, sponges, plankton, mussels, kelp, barnacles, moss animals, and fish carcasses, among the some others. They are opportunistic feeders and typically consume any edible detail that arrives their way. 

They have mouths at the bottom of their shells, composed of five enamel, as mentioned before. Their mouths can seize and tear, which allows them to feast on a huge assortment of food stuff sources about the ocean flooring. However, they have a unique liking for algae and kelp. 

Do Sea Urchins Chew?

Sea urchins have five tough and more calcitic teeth that let them to chew on their foodstuff resources. Nonetheless, even much more intriguing, is the point that they can chew by way of stones and rocks. They are able to do this thanks to their outstanding teeth which comprise crystals of magnesium calcite, fastened correct at the grinding strategies. This tends to make the enamel amazingly sharp so much so that they can grind by rocks. 

Why Do Sea Urchins Chew As a result of Rocks?

Acquiring examined the sheer phenomenality of the sea urchin’s tooth, we ought to discuss about why sea urchins chew rocks. This is a problem that we are positive must have puzzled your brain as you go through by means of this piece and we are a lot more than happy to give satisfactory answers. 

Sea urchins commonly stay on ocean floors presumably for the reason that they deficiency the ability to swim up. That’s why, they have loads of stones and rocks all over them, most of which have some algae on them. So, the sea urchins chew on the rocks to grind out algae for their individual feeding and nutritional rewards. 

Also, sea urchins in some cases chew on rocks so as to drill through the rocks and make hiding holes for themselves. This implies they dig into rocks to make a home for by themselves away from the risk of lurking predators. 

So, opposite to what you may perhaps have considered prior to, sea urchins are not psychopathic creatures that just chew on rocks for the pleasurable of it. When they chew rocks, they are either grinding out food items for by themselves or building themselves a property, both of which are noble adventures that character has so graciously outfitted them for. 

Do Sea Urchins Have Predators?

We mentioned earlier that sea urchins in some cases chew by rocks to make homes for by themselves and conceal from lurking predators. This indicates that they also have predators who hunt them, as we’ll soon clarify. 

In fact, sea urchins are protected by their spiny and, in some cases, venomous shells which preserve a great deal of predators away from them. Following all, no predator wishes to get stung frequently although looking. Nevertheless, sea urchins have purely natural predators that have someway made the expertise required to productively hunt them. A key instance is the wolf eel which has evolved to turn out to be a person of the sea urchin’s fiercest predators. Other people involve sea otters, birds, lobsters, crabs, wrasse, and sheepshead fish. Sea urchins are also hunted by individuals, particularly in Japan as nicely as other areas where they are considered salty, creamy, and tasty. They also make wonderful delicacies in China and South Korea. 

How Does Sea Urchin Enamel Remain Sharp?

For lengthy, researchers questioned why sea urchin tooth hardly ever look to go blunt despite their consistent chewing of rocks, stones, and other rock-tough surfaces. The solution surfaced some time back when it was discovered that sea urchins have self-sharpening tooth. As they have interaction in their rock-chewing routines, the enamel naturally wear out, and specified levels crack off, building way for new rugged ones. Isn’t that marvelous? 

There are hopes that at some issue in the long run, these marvelous sea urchin teeth will enable scientists build mechanical equipment that under no circumstances go blunt. 

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