This sea urchin-killer called Neocidaris schwarzenheggeri. He owns six large spines facing down and hook-shaped. Well articulated to the body, allow it to move. This monster of a meter in diameter is a fierce predator whose specialty is to pierce prey.

Systematics: Echinodermata (group of starfish and sea urchins), Echinoid (group of urchins) cidaridé (gilled sea urchin group and well separated spines each other). The kind Neocidaris includes many species that are distributed on the foreshore.

Etymology: "neo" for new, "cidaris" for sea urchin, "Schwarzenheggeri for its strength and destructive power (in honor of Austrian-American actor, filmmaker, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, and former professional bodybuilder and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in the movie The Terminator).

Cousin of the 21st century: Cidaris cidaris, long-spine sea urchin slate pen.

Evolution: The evolution of these sea urchins (genus cidaris) pushed to the extreme the capacity to move on his quills: the quills of Néocidaris are fewer and thus more mobile, well articulated to the body. As for the mode of nutrition, many are already present sea urchin carnivores.

Size: 50 cm high for more than 1 meter in diameter.

Distribution: Continental Shelf Eurafrican plate. Many in the intertidal zone.

Anatomical drawings of the room chewing (or lantern of Aristotle) of N. schwarzenheggeri.

Morphology and Physiology: The sea urchin moves its "quills" transformed into true legs. The radial nerve, which drives these spines is very developed. The mouth is provided with a "Aristotle's lantern" projectile connected to a nervous and muscular cord shaped elastic spiral. The species N. swharzenheggeri is the only possess chromatophores (pigment cells changing color) on the back. It may also be camouflaged to catch larger prey (eg Struthiops philipkdicki) or move in herds (eg Tringapterus)

Ecology and Diversity: carnivorous predators, sea urchins of the genus Neocidaris replaced crustaceans (crabs) in all coastal ecosystems. Their size, shape and color vary depending on the species, their food and habitat. Neocidaris schwarzenheggeri is very active day in the rocks. N. schwarzenheggeri, opportunistic predator, charges at anything that moves. When the prey is bigger than him and lives in herds, it adopts a hunting technique on the lookout.

Nocturnal cousin: Neocidaris bruceleei

Neocidaris bruceleei

The Neocidaris bruceleei is slimmer and smaller but more discreet than his cousin N. schwarzenheggeri. Essentially water, It moves on its 4 "quills" and he hunt on the lookout in large mudflats at night. His meeting with N. Schwarzenggeri is rare ... but explosive. Its name "bruceleei" is in honor of Hong Kong American martial artist, actor, philosopher, filmmaker, and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do Bruce Lee for its stealth and deadly attack ninja in these films.

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