[Coral-List] Fw: ADMAT - Sea Urchins eating iron cannons and granite blocks...

David Evans davidjevans1818 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 10 15:48:32 EST 2013

Hello All,

Happy New Year!

I was made aware of an interesting observation from a Marine Archaeology list. I thought it would be useful to pass it on here for any further input. Dr. Simon Spooner of the Anglo~Danish Maritime Archaeological Team (ADMAT; www.admat.org.uk ) posted this observation on the Sub-Arch List server ( SUB-ARCH at ASU.EDU ) about bio-eroding sea urchins ( Reb Rock Boring Sea Urchin  *echinometre lucunter*) on a shipwreck off the Dominican Republic, boring holes into granite blocks and iron canon cargo at the wreck site. He was asking if anyone has experience encountering something similar. I will post an excerpt here:

... a shipwreck off Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic...    

... we noted an interesting biologic factor and wanted to know if anyone on the list has encountered such on their surveys.

During the survey we noted that some of the granite blocks (over 60 of them part of the cargo) which were in the shallows, less than 3 meters depth, water temp arround 80 deg F, had holes "drilled" in them. In addition iron cannons which appear to have been new cannons with the touche-holes not drilled, also had holes in them. We have proved that these holes were made by a particular type of sea urchin, the Reb Rock Boring Sea Urchin or Echinometre Lucunter.

-->Has anyone conducted a survey where they have encountered this, either in cargo or on iron cannons?<--

[additionally: "ADMAT is intending to return to the wreck site this summer and i hope we can get some further research on these things as there are a number of interesting questions they throw up, like how long to burrow a hole and how fast to they breed?"]

Many thanks
Dr. Simon Q. Spooner, BSc, MRICS, PhD, MIfA.
maritime_archaeology at yahoo.co.uk
Anglo~Danish Maritime Archaeological Team

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I was sure some folks on the NOAA Coral list may have some input.


David J. Evans

Bending Light
davidjevans1818 at yahoo.com

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