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

Héctor Reyes Bonilla hreyes at uabcs.mx
Fri Jan 11 12:33:35 EST 2013

hello everyone.

at the southernmost Baja California peninsula, Echinometra vanbrunti
occurs in the first few meters below the surface, and the large local
population (easily more than 10 urchins/sq m), is happily eroding the
granitic rocks of the famous arc and surrounding areas since the 1980s
(the first time that I saw them there). the urchins bore from small
depressions to big holes (4 to 5 cm deep). At the Revillagigedo
Islands, Echinometra oblonga do similar things, but on volcanic rock.

I always thought that this was normal!

Hector Reyes

2013/1/11 boc <boc at aquafact.ie>:
> Hello to all.
> I live on the west coast of Ireland where our local small urchin,
> Paracentrotus lividus which occurs over much of the southwest and west
> coasts, creates pits in intertidal pools on limestone pavement in which they
> then live. They cover themselves in pieces of shell under which Amphipholis
> squamata can be found. Never thought urchins would work their way through
> granite and steel though!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of David Evans
> Sent: 10 January 2013 20:49
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; rookerj at tamug.edu
> Cc: maritime_archaeology at yahoo.co.uk
> Subject: [Coral-List] Fw: ADMAT - Sea Urchins eating iron cannons and
> granite blocks...
> 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
> Simon
> Dr. Simon Q. Spooner, BSc, MRICS, PhD, MIfA.
> maritime_archaeology at yahoo.co.uk
> Anglo~Danish Maritime Archaeological Team www.admat.org.uk
> \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ END EXCERPTS///////////
> I was sure some folks on the NOAA Coral list may have some input.
> Thanks!
> David J. Evans
> Bending Light
> www.refractum.blogspot.com
> davidjevans1818 at yahoo.com
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Héctor Reyes Bonilla
Departamento Académico de Biología Marina
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur
Carretera al sur km 5.5. Col. El Calandrio
La Paz, B.C.S., C.P. 23080.
Tel. (52-612) 123-8800, ext. 4160
Fax (52-612) 123-8819.

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