Welcome to the new Virtual Urchin website!

We now feature expanding mobile compatibility!

Computers are still recommended, and tablets are preferable to phones: please read the Notes at the bottom of this page for 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


  • This site is a work in progress. Work on converting the modules to HTML continues; as of February 2018, here are the modules that we provide in HTML:
    1. Microscope Tutorial
    2. Microscope Compare
    3. Specimen Compare
    4. Predator & Prey
    5. Surfing to Settlement
  • The remaining modules are in Flash. Running Flash content in browsers on tablet devices 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, we suggest that you install an application like the Photon Flash Player Browser.
  • Even so, our Flash content will likely function better on a computer with a mouse. We have tried to make as much Flash content as possible touchscreen friendly, but again, this is a work in progress.
  • Due to its highly interactive content, this site has been designed for use with a large screen (tablet or larger). We only recommend using mobile phones if no other device is available.
  • 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)!