<p class="Normal">Visually arresting, hazardous to swimmers, and—to some cultures—delicious, sea urchins are also revealing new information to the scientists who study them.</p><p class="Normal">Here, red sea urchins carpet a kelp forest off British Columbia. The marine invertebrates are important links in the marine food chain. Fish pick at the urchins, which feed on bits of algae.</p>

Red Sea Urchins, British Columbia

Visually arresting, hazardous to swimmers, and—to some cultures—delicious, sea urchins are also revealing new information to the scientists who study them.

Here, red sea urchins carpet a kelp forest off British Columbia. The marine invertebrates are important links in the marine food chain. Fish pick at the urchins, which feed on bits of algae.

Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

Sea Urchins

Visually arresting, hazardous to swimmers, and—to some cultures—delicious, sea urchins are also revealing new information to the scientists who study them.

Read This Next

Do spiders dream? A new study suggests they do.
Why monkeypox cases are still rising at such an alarming rate
Thunderstorms are moving East with climate change

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet