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Old 11-08-2013, 12:54 AM   #1
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Pencil urchin dead? How do you tell?

Got a pencil urchin the other day and I put it on my rocks. It moved about 4 inches and now it's in the same spot for the last couple of days. How can you tell if it's dead? Will its quills fall off? Or will it look the same but crabs will start to eat it? Is there a way to make sure it's alive if I pick it up? Any info is appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:45 PM   #2
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My urchin did the same thing, it would move for a little bit but then it would stay in one spot for a couple days. But afterwards it would move again. Your pencil urchin should be fine, it probably just likes the spot it's in. When an urchin dies it usually let's go of whatever it's holding on to and just falls off. Also, cuc will start to move towards it. Also, do NOT pick the pencil urchin up with bare hands. It'll sting the hell out of you. Inside each stem has poisonous stems that can inject and eject. They'll sting you if threatened, so if your gonna pick it up use gloves.
Other than that give it some time. Good luck
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:54 PM   #3
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No this is the urchin that's in touch tanks. He's got thick spines that are flat on top. But yeah he's moving all over now.
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #4
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Oh ok, it must be a different type. The one I know of stings. But glad urs is moving
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:24 PM   #5
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I believe the pencil urchin when it starts to die it will sometimes shed it's "pencils"
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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They deflate...like bagpipes that are exhausting air. Leaving only a skin covered with spines.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
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Our Atlantic Pencil Urchins would show their spines drooping then falling off the body when they died. If they are wedged into rock too far they may not fall to the bottom so I'd use the drooping spines as your signal. ( All the spines would droop at the same time so don;t start panicing if you see 1 or 2 in a drooping position. That's probably just related to where they are in the rock. )

Hope this helps
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