U is for Urchin

The last wild creature we discovered on our January Hawaiian vacation was the Helmet Urchin. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at when we saw these creatures, that looked like giant nail heads on rock in the coastal rock formations on the beach in Kona. Are those animals? Or some sort of extinct animal’s exoskeletons? They also looked a little like giant black gumdrops. Until I got closer. They are an exquisite dark purple surrounded with tiny little chicklet feet. They are one of the toughest of urchins, in that it takes one heck of a wave to wash them away, while other species of urchins are already long gone. Its Hawaiian name is “kaupali” which translates to mean “cliff hanging.”


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