UK Seas

Discover the wonderful sea creatures that inhabit the UK seas and shores

Know the name of the creature you are looking for?

UK seas is a guide to the fauna and flora found around UK coasts. While the majority of species are marine, some species are included that are regularly encountered on land by the coast, so you’ll find descriptions of non-marine species such as reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants as well.

Edible urchin

Echinus esculentus


Echinoderms, Urchins


A large sea urchin, usually orange-pink in colour and covered in pale prickles. It lives beneath the waves, grazing on rocks and seaweed, but its test (shell) is a familiar sight in trinket shops.

A fully grown female urchin can carry more than 20 million eggs.


The fragile shell is surprisingly robust, and you may find specimens washed on the beach, or deposited on a clifftop by a hungry seagull.


Subtidal, Seabed.

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