The echinoderms, or the spiny-skinned animals are a group of animals, which are
only found in the sea. The best known are Starfish and Sea urchins. These can be found
on the rocky shores of the Marine Reserve. Other, such as Feather Stars and Sea
cucumbers, are less common but you may be lucky enough to find them near the waterís
The upper surface of Starfish and Sea urchins is rough to touch and covered by
spines of different lengths. The body is divided into five segments. In the
Starfish these are seen as Ďarmsí. They move around using many hundreds of tiny,
sucker-like, tube feet, which clamp down and then let go.
Starfish have their mouth on their under surface. They feed by sitting over their
prey and dissolving it before sucking it up. Sea urchins eat young Kelp and other
organisms living on the rock surface in shallow water.
If you want to find a Starfish the best place to search is on rockpools and under
stones. At certain times of the year you may find very large numbers of tiny Starfish,
which have recently hatched from eggs.
You can usually only find Sea urchins very near the waterís edge at low tide
although they are sometimes found in rockpools higher up. You can often find
the empty shell of a Sea urchin, which has lost all its spines. These are nice
to collect but if you take one home make sure it is completely empty, as the flesh
can smell. It is also best to lightly varnish the surface and keep it out of direct
sunlight otherwise the colours will face very quickly.