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The long-spined urchin (Diadema antillarum) experienced a widespread die-off throughout the Caribbean in the early 1980's. No reason has been pinpointed to this date. Many areas of the Caribbean have not recovered from this die-off. Stetson Bank is certainly an exception - an extremely healthy population resides here. The two Flower Garden Banks do not harbor as healthy a population, but they are definitely there. Divers have to be very careful where they put their hands or knees during the night dives. Puncturing from the spines of these animals is very painful, and can cause long term discomfort. (photo:Emma Hickerson)

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