Animal Update: Living Seashore Gets A Dental Visit!

Recently, Animal Health staff successfully performed a dental procedure on a sea urchin in Living Seashore!

Published November 20, 2015

Sea urchins eat using a structure called “Aristotle’s lantern,” which is made up of five bony plates that support their continuously growing teeth. They use their beak-like mouth the scrape rocks clean of algae and grind up the occasional mussel. 

sea urchin

Like horses, rabbits and rodents, the sea urchin’s teeth continue to grow throughout their life. By the action of chewing and grinding their food, the teeth are ground down over time. Like many of these other species, urchins can develop overgrown teeth. 

In early November, our Veterinary Fellow Colin McDermott performed a successful trimming on one of our Living Seashore urchins. The procedure was performed with a rotary tool. 



Our Animal Health team has been keeping a close eye on the urchin since performing the tooth trim and we’re happy to report the animal is recovering well! 

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes updates!

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Marie Tharp the harp seal Animal Rescue Update: Harp Seal Admitted

National Aquarium Animal Rescue is currently caring for a female harp seal nicknamed Marie Tharp.

Read the full story

Cold-stunned turtle on beach Rescue to Release, Part 1: Is Climate Change Increasing Cold-Stunned Turtles?

Every year, when cold weather starts to hit the East Coast, hundreds of endangered, cold-stunned sea turtles wash ashore in Cape Cod Bay.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Amazing Animal Hearts

Published February 13, 2019

Octopuses Have Heart (Actually, Three!)

Published February 08, 2019

Sea Urchin Dental Procedure

Watch our Veterinary fellow, Dr. Colin McDermott, perform a tooth trimming on one of our sea urchins.

Subscribe on Youtube