Unusual Echinoderm Shell


This empty shell, with ‘stitching’ on the upper side, was found on the Papanui Inlet shore at low tide.

It’s an example of Echinocardium cordatum, sea potato, which appears in our Northern NZ Sandy and Muddy Shore Guide (but not the Southern version).  It’s a beautiful thing.

E. cordatum have a NZ wide distribution but are mainly a subtidal species living in the soft mud. Very unusual to find the shell in such perfect condition on the shore!
If you want to know more check out the NIWA guide to echinoderms.

Photos courtesy of Neville Peat.

Has anyone else in the South Island seen these echinoderm shells?

Let us know at info@mm2.net.nz

 Sea potato echinoderm

unusual Echinoderm shell top side

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