Welcome to the new Virtual Urchin website!

Major update Aug 2020: almost all of the activities on the site are now mobile compatible !!

Computers are still recommended, and tablets are preferable to phones: please read the Notes at the bottom of this page for details on mobile compatibility and general information about using this site.

Interactive Tutorials

1. microscope basics
microscope tutorialmicroscope measurementmicroscope comparespecimen compare
2. development & embryology
fertilization labembryogenesis to hatchinganalyzing gene function
3. ecology & environment
our acidifying oceanpredator & preysurfing to settlement
4. basic biology
urchin anatomy


  • As of August 2020, all modules are now available in HTML (and thus fully mobile-compatible), with the exception of Our Acidifying Ocean and Analyzing Gene Function, which still require that Flash is installed on your browser. Work continues to convert these modules as well.
  • Due to its highly interactive nature, this site has been optimized for use with a large screen and a mouse, such as a laptop computer. Devices with smaller screens and touch input, such as a tablet, are supported.
  • The HTML content should also work on mobile phones, but the activities are not optimized for such a small screen size, and larger screens are preferred if available.
  • Running Flash content in browsers on tablet devices and mobile phones is problematic — it can't be installed directly on Apple (iOS) devices, and can be troublesome on Android devices. If you want to try using our Flash content on tablets or phones, we suggest that you install an application like the <Photon Flash Player Browser.
  • At this point, non-English language support is only available for Our Acidifying Ocean. We're working to expand the choices. If you choose a language, we will remember it and display content in that language if possible!

Please help us by reporting any problems that you find, and feel free to give us any feedback (or email to larvador[at]uw.edu)!