<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.

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