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Sea Urchin Anatomy

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By Abiogenisis   |   
Published: November 28, 2011
© 2011 - 2020 Abiogenisis
[This image is available for purchase, and alternations can be made on request]

Illustrated is the generalised internal and external features of a typical arbacia-type sea urchin. Several features such as gills and the pedicilaria were omitted as they are outside the scope of this image.

Sea urchins are globular, superficially pentamerically symmetrical echinoderms which inhabit marine environments world wide. Movement across the substrate can be made in one or both of two ways: The defensive spines can be moved independently and thus act as mobile stilts in the long spined species, or the hydraulically extended tube-feet can be employed for both mobility and anchorage.

These tube feet are part of an internal network of water filled tubes and bladders called the water vascular system. This network is connected to the seawater via a structure called the madreporite on the aboral (upper) surface: When the bladders along the radial canals contract, they inflate and thus extend the tube feet.

The sea urchin feeding apparatus is a five sided complex articulated structure called the Aristotles' Lantern. It consists of a series of interlinked plates and muscles which manoeuvre five continuously growing teeth, used to rasp away at algae, their predominant food source.

The nervous system is relatively simple, centred around a nerve ring inside the lantern from which radiate five nerves to innervate the radial water vascular system.
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Comments91
anonymous's avatar
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CartoonBen's avatar
CartoonBenStudent Digital Artist
It's kind of funny how its' anatomy bears a resemblance to the interior of a huge mech or a spaceship (with it's ampullae look like comfortable leather chairs, for example).
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
Its very like the inside of an Engineer ship
CartoonBen's avatar
CartoonBenStudent Digital Artist
Cool. Maybe it's just a coincidence that it looks that way.
Krovas's avatar
Its pooper's on top =/
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
Face down butt up
maanto's avatar
"alternations can be made on request]"
Do you mind if I use the image and just change the text? Not for profit. Just for re-posting.
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
Shouldnt be a problem, where are you planning to repost it?
maanto's avatar
Facebook to a salt water keeping group. I'm wanting to change the text around to create a meme like those ones with cats labeling their anatomy with silly words like toe-beans and purr-factory. This one would be re-labeling the parts inside to things like rocket fuel valves and life support cryo-sleep pods. :)
Rmartins1950's avatar
Could I reproduce your image, with due acknowledgment, in a Brazilian high-school textbook, please? Thank you very much! 
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
You should be able to find a public domain version of the image in the wikipedia archives.
jhang000's avatar
Hi can I have the picture (low resolution) for my project writing?
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
Sure! If its not to make any money, go for it.
KDS44444's avatar
This is, of course, the most captivating image of a sea urchin anywhere on the Internet today.  I am wondering if you would be willing to consider allowing a low-resolution version of it to be added  to the Wikipedia article on sea urchins (the current anatomic imagery there is, well, dull at best).  The sea urchin article gets between 600 and 1,200 visits per day, which is a lot of traffic.  You would be given full credit for the image, though the version used could not contain any personal watermarks or signatures, and you would have to be willing to release the low-resolution version under a suitable license.  Please let me know.  Wikipedia is about the best free advertisement you can get for your work (your work which is rather amazing— I have perused it in awe).  The Wiki file information page would include a link to your deviant art account or any other web site you might wish.  Think it over.  I am at your service.
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
I would be most honored! If you chose to use it, let me know so I can check it out!
KDS44444's avatar
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.  Too many distractions!  In any case, I am still very interested in using this file for the Wikipedia article.  In order for me to do this, I would need you to provide a version of the image that is appropriately licensed.  I have looked over the Deviantart website, and am still not sure I understand how it works with regard to licensing and copyright, but I get the impression that everything on Deviantart is pretty much copyright protected (as it should be). We have some alternatives:

1.) You can upload a low-res version of the image yourself via Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mai… create a free account if you don't already have one, and upload the image from there— I can guide you though I cannot do this for you because I am not the artist).  Then you can notify me and I can make the necessary changes to add it to the Wikipedia article on sea urchins.  You would have to decide for yourself just how low-res you wish to make the image while still keeping it detailed and interesting.  You would also need to remove the non-urchin related material from the image (text, logos, etc.) as these are generally considered extraneous

2.) I can upload a version of the image for you to Commons and claim that you are willing to release the image under an appropriate license.  This will cause the generation of what is called an OTRS ticket on Commons and will invoke a Commons volunteer to independently verify that you are indeed who you say you are and that you understand the terms of that license.  This takes some time (they are backlogged at OTRS) but requires very little of you other than responding to that emailed request for verification.  I must also confess that I have very little experience dealing with the OTRS system, but I figure I can probably wing it.

The former is easiest for me but obviously requires some effort from you; I am trying to make this as totally easy for you as I can, which is why I mention option #2.  For me, it is certainly worth the extra effort in order to be able to have the image on Wikipedia!  So let me know what you think and we can take it from there.  Also, is there a way I can email you directly rather than leaving a series of comments for you?  Please advise.  Thanks!
RedDOG727's avatar
Dissecting one today. Pic helps
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
Glad to hear! Kind of goopy without the guide :P
RedDOG727's avatar
Thank you, again.
DigbyTheGoat's avatar
DigbyTheGoatStudent Filmographer
It looks like a space pod. Like the blue things are seats there's a light at the top and I dunno, air conditioning over there. And there's a control panel in the middle.
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
So utterly strange.
DigbyTheGoat's avatar
DigbyTheGoatStudent Filmographer
Yea I guess it is.
jpilbrow's avatar
Hi, I am looking for an image illustrating sea urchin morphology to use for my PhD thesis and this is the best that I have come across. The thesis is for academic use only, it will not be sold or reproduced, but a copy may be available to view online and in the university library, proper credit for the image will be given. Please email me in regards to this ASAP at piljo321@student.otago.ac.nz. Thanks Jodi   
XSONOHX's avatar
XSONOHXHobbyist Artist
I was looking at pictures of Sea Urchins and found this, looks cool.
Abiogenisis's avatar
AbiogenisisProfessional Digital Artist
Cheers, it was one of the hardest and most enjoyable projects I ever did :)
anonymous's avatar
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