Coelopleurus exquisitus

Coelopleurus exquisitus sea urchin test

Coelopleurus exquisitus sea urchin test

Coelopleurus exquisitus sea urchin test

[full set here]

As seen through my new macro lens, this is the test (calcium carbonate structural shell) of a small sea urchin that was unknown to science until one was purchased on eBay in 2006 and subesqently described by Natural History Museum scientists Simon Coppard and Heinke Schultz. I bought this test on eBay right around that time, unaware of this fact.

[PDF of publication abstract]

[BoingBoing post]

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Sea urchins are members of the phylum Echinodermata, which also includes sea stars, sea cucumbers, brittle stars, and crinoids. Like other echinoderms they have fivefold symmetry (called pentamerism) and a mouth locatted ventrally. This species is from New Caledonia, and this particular test is about 1.6cm wide.

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