Trivia question for Jul-22-2011

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia decided to stay with a species from the sea as well today so lets see how she does.  These are one of nature’s most voracious consumers of plant-life; can destroy entire beds of kelp.  These guys use their complex jaw structure to scrape away algae and animals from rock and coral.

They move slowly, feeding mostly on algae. Sea otters, wolf eels, triggerfish, and other predators feed on them. Their “roe” (actually the gonads) is a delicacy in many cuisines.  These guys are sensitive to touch, light, and chemicals. Although they do not have eyes or eye spots, recent research suggests that their entire body might function as one compound eye.

So here are Olivia’s questions:  Tell us what this odd looking invertebrate is and how long the transformation from larva to juvenile usually lasts?  Also, these guys are harvested in large quantities by humans mainly for their eggs, which are used in a wide variety of experiments and are considered a delicacy in some cultures.  It is estimated that as much as 50,000 tons are taken each year.  Tell us which three countries are responsible for taking the largest harvest?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Nathalie from Carcassonne (which is located in the south of France)for being the first with the correct answer. And yes, I am sure you see plenty of tourists who get stung be these each year in your area. The invertebrate we featured is the Sea Urchin. Sea urchins or urchins are small, spiny, globular animals which. They inhabit all oceans. Their shell, or “test”, is round and spiny, typically from 1.2 to 3.9 in across.

The transformation from larva to a juvenile can take anywhere from 1-minute to as long as an hour, depending on the particular species of sea urchin.  As mentioned, these guys are harvested from the sea each your to the tune of 50,000 tons.  The three countries who take the most each year are Japan, the U.S. and Chile.  Here is more on these spiny creatures: Sea Urchins

Thanks for playing along 😉