The purple sea urchin lives in kelp forests. It will eat any sort of algae, but kelp is its favourite food. These urchins are considered to be a delicacy in Japan.
Scientific name: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
California purple sea urchin
New timelapse techniques capture the frenzied life of California's star gardens.
Using a flash strobe system linked to an in-built timer mechanism on his digital stills camera, cameraman Peter Kragh filmed timelapse in the wild for the first time. Previously, such sequences have been filmed in tanks. To the naked eye, these invertebrates seem inanimate, but at ultra-high speed their frenetic activity is revealed.
The following habitats are found across the Purple sea urchin distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, lives along the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean extending from Ensenada, Mexico to British Columbia, Canada. This sea urchin species is deep purple in color and lives in lower intertidal and nearshore subtidal communities.
It normally grows to a diameter of about 4 inches and may live as long as 70 years.
Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.
Some of the most memorable sequences in natural history result from timelapse photography, an astonishing filming technique that opens our eyes to a whole new world.
Narrated by Sir David Attenborough Planet Earth was the ground-breaking series that explored the wild and beautiful parts of our planet like never before.