Black Sea Urchin (Diadema antillarum)

Origin: Caribbean Sea
Sighted at: White Street Pier, Key West, FL

It’s our first Echinoderm! Echinoderms are a group of invertebrates that are known for their spiky skin.

The black sea urchin is a common sight in the coral reef surrounding the Florida Keys. This specimen (and many dozens more just like it) was nestled on the rocks at the pier – within wading distance of the beach! I got hassled by some tourists while I was taking this photo. They mistakenly believed that I was damaging the ecosystem. They were from New Jersey.