The Echinoid Directory

The Echinoid Directory is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to know more about echinoids, commonly called sea urchins. Although primarily a tool used by scientists to identify and classify specimens, the site also offers a helpful introduction to echinoid biology for non-specialists.

The echinoid directory

Echinoids, commonly known as sea urchins, are a major group of marine invertebrates (sea creatures without backbones). Inhabitants of the sea floor, they can be found all over the world from the poles to the equator and from coastal shallows to the ocean depths. There are about 800 living species of echinoid, and their fossil record stretches back 450 million years.

The Echinoid Directory is a key resource for learning more about these fascinating animals. Aimed at non-specialists, the introductory pages offer information on how echinoids move, feed, breathe, defend themselves and reproduce.

The Morphology section uses illustrations to introduce the formidable array of scientific terms applied to echinoids. It is aimed at echinoid enthusiasts and students of marine biology.

The site's primary purpose, however, is as a research tool for the scientific community. An index and an illustrated key enable specialists to identify and classify specimens, and to work out where they fit on the echinoid family tree.

The echinoid directory
Cartoon image of a hatchet fish on a museum pass

In World War II the Museum was used as a secret base to develop new gadgets for allied spies, including an exploding rat!