Heart sea urchins found en masse along Kenting seabed (2018/07/11)
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  • 英文 English 
    Heart sea urchins found en masse along Kenting seabed (2018/07/11)

    Divers have recently stumbled upon a large population of heart sea urchins on the seabed of Kenting. Heart sea urchins are common along Taiwan's southwest coast, but they're rarely seen in such huge numbers. Experts aren't certain what's behind the massive gathering, but some suspect that the sea urchins' predators have been removed in large numbers, setting off a population boom.

    It’s an astonishing sight: an army of sea urchins marching along the seabed, each looking as if it were wearing a tiny helmet. Look closer and you can see their many thin spines. These are the Maretia planulata, commonly referred to as heart sea urchins. They were found in huge numbers on the ocean floor of Kenting’s Houbihu around June and July of last year, but the gathering dispersed in the space of a month. This summer, the spiny creatures have come back in droves.

    Tsai Yung-chun
    Taiwanese Coral Reef Society
    They’re still wandering around in that area over there. They’ve been there a few days now, foraging for food.

    Voice of Lee Kwen-shen
    National Museum of Natural Science
    Generally speaking, sea urchins gather during reproduction. Another explanation could be that their predators have been removed in large quantities, leading to a population boom.

    Marine experts say that the spines of the heart sea urchin are not hard, and coming into contact with one isn’t necessarily dangerous. But human contact could be dangerous for the delicate sea urchin, experts say, reminding divers that if they see one, it’s best to leave it be.
    中文 Chinese  
    大批海膽遷移屏東後壁湖海域 學者:為了覓食



    [[中華民國珊瑚礁學會理事 蔡永春]]

    [[聲源:國立自然科學博物館博士 李坤瑄]]

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