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  • Jaejeong & Jaeah Kim

Sea Urchin Dissection || Aristotle's Lantern

What’s inside a sea urchin? Is there anything beneath all those spines? Find out as you learn how to dissect a sea urchin in this video, which also covers its external and internal anatomy and physiology. In this simple dissection of a sea urchin, you’ll learn various parts of its anatomy, what exactly an ‘Aristotle’s lantern’ is, and how sea urchins walk on the ocean floor.

Sea urchins are a species of echinoderms that are often overlooked due to their simplistic external appearance. However, did you know that sea urchins have an entire water vascular system built into their body that helps move their tiny tube feet, or that they have a water slide like stomach and intestine within them? In this video, you’ll learn general information about both green sea urchins & purple sea urchins, which will be tied into their anatomical structures and physiological importance.

This dissection lab is for anyone who is curious about sea urchin anatomy, wants to cover sea urchin anatomy for a zoology course, missed the sea urchin dissection during biology class, or just wondered, “what’s lies within all those spines of a sea urchin?” The video will teach you how to dissect a green & purple sea urchin step by step, and review the external and internal anatomy of the sea urchin.

In this video, we’ll cover the following structures:

Epidermis Aristotle's lantern

Tube feet Pharynx

Spines Esophagus

Tubercles Stomach

Mouth Intestine

Teeth Mesentery tissue

Peristome Rectum

Anus Stone canal

Madreporite Ring canal

Periproct Radial canals

Genital plates Ampullae

Gonads (testes/ovaries) Siphon


If you want to learn more about sea urchin anatomy, here’s a link to a website with more detailed information, as well as diagrams:​

If you have any questions regarding sea urchin anatomy, dissection methodology, or general biology, feel free to leave a comment. We'll try our best to reply.


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