Animals Video

By Katy Gill


This footage captures the rare moment when a sea urchin treks across the ocean floor.

Using its delicate spiny legs – the urchin propels itself up and down underwater sand dunes and then onward.

As it progresses along the open stretch, the movements that the urchin makes seem strange and almost otherworldly.

It was wildlife and underwater cameraman Shazaad Kasmani that captured this moment and the thirty-eight-year old says that urchins usually don’t take thing big of a journey in the open.

He said: “Sea urchins can usually be seen anchored to one spot on the sea floor. When they move about, it’s usually among the shelter of the rocky patches on the sea bed or between sea grass meadows.

“This lone urchin was crossing a sandy patch and really stood out. It gave a wonderful insight into how they actually do get around.

“A Sea Urchin is using its delicate little feet to walk on a sandy sea bed.

“It was a very long sandy patch so I could not follow it all the way. The speed of the urchin in this video is the actual speed recorded at the time (it has not been increased or decreased), so I would estimate somewhere around 0.5 meters per minute.

“The number of feet on urchins tends to vary, but definitely a lot. The bigger the urchin gets, the more feet seems to have.

“We normally find sea urchins hanging to one spot on the coral reef. However these little sea hedgehogs need to move at times, and they seem to be pretty quick on their spiny feet.

“Their delicate tube-like legs are connected to the urchin’s water vascular system which creates water pressure allowing their tiny feet to move.

“This particular urchin was crossing a long sandy patch in the lagoon, the endless sand and little dunes formed by the wave action on the sea bed resembled an underwater desert.”