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Type: Article
Published: 2012-12-12
Page range: 255–265
Abstract views: 201
PDF downloaded: 186

Adaptative morphology for living in shallow water environments in spatangoid echinoids*

Kanagawa University, Hiratsuka, Japan
Kanagawa University, Hiratsuka, Japan
Echinoidea Spatangoida morphology distribution burrowing depth


Six spatangoid species living in an area about 1 km2 at depths of 5–18 m were investigated in the Oki-Islands in the Japan Sea. The spatangoids capable of burrowing deeply principally adapt to unstable environment where the sediment surface is disturbed by storms. They are confined to the respective habitats depending on their functional morphology; apical tuft spines and fascioles for respiration, inflated plastron and stern-like postero-ventral shape for deep-burrowing. An excep­tional spatangoid, Lovenia elongata, has specific morphologies for quick burrowing and rapid righting against disturbance of superficial sediment, which make it possible for it to live in fine- to coarse-grained sand at various water depths in spite of its burrowing just below the sediment surface.