When high west winds coming from the Gulf Of Mexico wash large wrack lines of PEN SHELLS, SEA WHIPS and SPONGES normally oodles of SEA URCHINS wash up as well. I’m often asked “How can you tell if a sea urchin is still alive or not?” so I did a video to let you see the difference between a dead SEA URCHIN and a live one. The spines on a SEA URCHIN move so slowly, at times it’s very difficult to tell if they are moving. My rule of thumb … if you can’t tell if a creature is alive or not, always assume that it is alive. Put any living creature back in its habitat. So for sea urchins? They go back into the water.
If you don’t know- let it go. Enjoy the video!
I’ll do SEA URCHIN identification in another post (and beach update) but since I have my girlfriend Lori and her daughter Hayley visiting from Virginia this week, I’m taking a little vaca myself for a few days. If we see unbelievable shells I need to tell you about, I’ll take a few minutes to give you an update. … but until then, enjoy the video!
As always, information we need to know!! And, timely!! I would love to come home with a sea urchin!! Love the photo with all the different colors if urchins! Enjoy your visit and mini Vacay!
I’ve never been fortunate enough to find a sea urchin. How does the spiny brown sea urchin in your video turn into the beautiful shells in your picture?
If you are lucky enough to find one how do you get the spines off to see the beautiful shell beneath?
Once the urchin is completely dried, the spines come right off. I put then in a light bleach water solution over night then the colors get brighter. I’ll explain more in another future post to help more. :)
Once the spines come off they become a little testy.
Just a little explanation of Murex Ken’s joke: the shell of a sea urchin is known as a “test”.
Thank you Susan. I was afraid to ask him what that meant? :)
heehee- testy tests! were you testing us?
I think he was!
Beautiful image Pam, and beautiful video.
Have a good time with Lori and Hayley!
I have never found one. Probably in the wrong part of the world here. Lovely shells though and great info should I ever find one.
Hi Pam, I love your site. When you are shelling, do you go barefoot or do you wear something on your feet? If you do, what are you wearing on your feet?
I’ve always been afraid to collect one because I didn’t know how to tell if it was alive or not and not sure how to handle the spines. Your video makes all the difference. Now I will know what I am looking at. Thanks Pam.
Enjoy your time with your friends.
As always, great info….. Thank you!
I have some good news! I took my whelk to Dr. Jose’ Leal for identification, and he concluded, after looking at it next to a lightning whelk, that it is a right-handed lightning whelk. I am really excited about it!
Last week, I found a beautiful crassatella on Sanibel. I love finding shells that I’ve never found before! As always, you write my favorite blog on the planet, so thank-you, Pam!
By the way, for the last few months, I have not been able to see your videos on my iphone 5. I discovered that it was because I had downloaded the YouTube app to my phone. Once I removed the app, I could see the videos just fine. I thought I would let you know that in case anyone else is having the same trouble.
(10years ago) first Sanibel visit I found a wrack line with 20+ dead sea urchins. on Bowmans beach….i made it home with most of them.now I have maybe 2 or so left..made gifts of most.. last fall we found a beautiful living urchin&returned it to its home..looking forward to finding a few of these beauties again! thanks Pam for sharing this video!
As always you give us so much useful information – loved actually seeing that he was moving. Have seen several before and just left them because I could not tell. Thanks again for such an informative blog Pam. Can’t wait to get back to Florida and start shelling again.