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

Lox being released on the beach Animal Rescue Update: Lox Release

Earlier this week, National Aquarium Animal Rescue released a rehabilitated grey seal, nicknamed Lox, back into the Atlantic Ocean.

Read the full story

Duncan swimming in the Animal Care and Rescue Center Animal Care and Rescue Center: All Systems Go

The National Aquarium’s new Animal Care and Rescue Center is officially open.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Happy Father's Day!

Published June 17, 2018

Happy Sea Turtle Week!

Published June 10, 2018

Sea Urchin Dental Procedure

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

Subscribe on Youtube