The Sputnik Sea Urchin
is so called because its arrangement of spines makes it resemble the Soviet sattelite Sputnik.
Sea Urchins are
echinoderms, in the class
Echinoidea. The spines serve as a defense against predators.
Where Sea urchin predators are scarce, they sometimes reach plague proportions and have a devastating effect in a local area by
consuming all the algae other animals depend on.
sea urchins are hard to find becase
usually lose their spines when they die, and are most often sold as
bare shells devoid
of spines, though
are often sold seperately. In life the spines are movable in a ball and socket joint which decomposes faster than the shell and
spines, causing the spines to fall off.
In craft projects spines are often glued back on, and don't necessarily match the shell, reulting in a "morphology" unlike any
living sea urchin.