This image of a sea urchin was taken by NOAA photographers off the coast of Maui in Hawaii. This species in known as a pencil sea urchin because its unusually thick spines resemble pencils. Sea urchins are found in most oceans of the world. Some species feed on algae while others will eat corals and other small animals. Many species have thin, sharp spines that can deliver a powerful sting to predators and unwary divers. Sea urchins are echinoderms and are closely related to starfish.
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