Scientific name: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
Taxonomy: Kingdom Animalia → Phylum Echinodermata → Subphylum Echinozoa → Class Echinoidea → Subclass Euechinoidea → Infraclass Carinacea → Subterclass Echinacea → Order Camarodonta → Infraorder Echinidea → Superfamily Odontophora → Family Strongylocentrotidae → Genus Strongylocentrotus
Locations: Eastern Pacific
Group: Marine Life → Invertebrates → Sea Urchins
Young ones can be pale, but the short spines are still distinctive.
These eat kelp. In turn, urchins are eaten by many species of sea star. But with the wasting disease reducing many sea star populations the last few years, urchins have taken over at some Monterey dive sites and reduced kelp coverage. This makes the sea otters sad.
If you'd like to do something to help the kelp survive the urchin onslaught, check out the Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project.