By Mary Penna/ECHO  Today at ECHO we introduced four purple-spined sea urchins to our Champlain Sea Tank! These creatures are the...

Welcoming the Purple-spined Sea Urchins to our Champlain Sea Tank

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By Mary Penna/ECHO 



Today at ECHO we introduced four purple-spined sea urchins to our Champlain Sea Tank! These creatures are the porcupines of the sea with long spines, or spikes, to scare away predators. They can grow up to 5 cm. tall and feed off of algae on the rocks that they cling to. You might ask - why would ECHO bring salt water creatures to a science center about Lake Champlain?

About 10,000 years ago, glaciers covered Lake Champlain, which pressurized the lake and caused ocean water to flood the area. Because of this there were thousands of species of salt-water creatures living in the lake for more than 2,000 years. During this time, the purple-spined sea urchins would have been present. Having this species in our sea tank offers some insight on the history of Lake Champlain and how diverse life above and below the water has been.

In the Champlain Sea Tank, new species are introduced often so visitors are able to get a fresh sense of the history of the lake every time they return. Come visit soon and celebrate the arrival of our four new friends! 





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