My obsession with Echinoids (Sea Urchins).

As some people might know, I am a little obsessed with Sea Urchins (Just check the identifiers list on Sea Urchins), in fact I almost cannot stop thinking about them or something related to them, it sometimes makes life difficult when trying to focus, by brain will be off in the dancing in the clouds with Echinothuriids, Toxopneustids and Kinas. All my life I have had some sort of passion/obsession with nature (Volcanology, Geology, Anthropology, meteorology etc), they may shift around a bit during turbulent years, but I always end up back with Marine Biology, right now am working towards becoming a Marine Biologist and I would like to specialize in Echinoderms and Mollusks, but I am prepared to accept not quite getting the role that I want (I still want to be associated with the topic of Echinoderms somehow). I have always been an Avid shell and rock collector (shells right now, my rock collection is back in Panamá), right now, since I have returned to NZ with some stressful times changing up, saying by to my friends (Who mostly spoke Spanish, or Español as they call it) and coming back and saying hello to old and new friends. It wasnt so simple though, my moderately bad OCD returned after staying dormant, I nearly fell into mild depression and my annoying tics returned, so I have to thank Inaturalist for helping me. It changed my life for the better distracting me from my worries and anxieties and I could to what I truly loved, I would also like to thank many people like @clinton, @indeynz, @tangatawhenua, @nzshells, @phelsumas4life, @davemmdave and many others who unknowingly made me feel accepted and acted as role models inspiring me to learn more about these topics. Back to my obsession with echinoderms, I have Aspergers syndrome, and I am proud of it, I have very little of the negative symptoms and the positive ones are overwhelming.
I thank everyone who finished reading this and would be happy to hold conversations about experiences with Inaturalist or beach findings in the comments:)

Posted by predomalpha predomalpha, August 20, 2018 08:00

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An inspiring post @predomalpha. Some may have noticed I'm obsessed with sharks. I think most scientists are obsessed by the things that fire their imagination.

Posted by clinton over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I am truly honored to find my name in your thank you list.
As for OCD and Asperger's and all those spectral labels [*which help us understand ourselves and others enormously and therefore help us cope,but which labels are forever evolving just like urchin taxonomy]...[*use of such brackets[**] suggests OC Traits, hmm...I've nothing more to say on that!] , it might be worth reminding some folks out there that I was once a generalist clinical medical person, and often told people I was 'interested in psychiatry',but guess what? I was more interested in observing and interacting with the non-human world. That is the privilege shared by us, and treasured by any person lucky enough to have been somehow steered favorably towards an appreciation of nature-whether by fate, genes, parents,teachers,or whoever has the gift to confer love of and fascination with nature(even with rocks...plenty in this cranium, for example).How it comes about matters not.But it must happen from prenatally to preschool or it never has pride of place inside any person.
Thanks for being you.
davem.

Posted by davemmdave over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thank you all for you wonderful comments and thank you for taking the time to read my observation.

Yes it is a privilege, I do pity those that have not found a passion to work on (It must be rather boring), so I hope that they find happiness some other way.
Sometimes I do question why am so passionate about a spiky ball or disc living in rock pools and at the bottom of the sea, but then I remember that they are much more than that.
I do hope that if any of you had hardships during your lives, that you came over them and returned to normal.
Predomalpha.

Posted by predomalpha over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Kia ora for sharing with us and it is humbling to find myself on your list :)

We have a great community here at iNatNZ (and the NZ is important as this is a morph from Nature Watch which was the original NZ corner of the world while iNat is the global part) and when I joined I also found inspiration from members here.

In some ways you are lucky that you have your passion for Echinoids - I have not found one area that is that for me. Instead I have a passion for everything! I started off with plants when I first joined, then sea weeds, then got an underwater camera which opened another whole world ... then orchids, then lichens but I always float back to the moana.

Do you speak Spanish? Last year we had someone from one of the Latin American countries make a sweeping taxon change for an endemic plant with no explanation, when asked we got a bit long reply in Spanish. What arrogance. Would have been good to have a translator at that time :)

Keep the obs coming - it is always great to see :)

Posted by tangatawhenua over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Like those have said above, I am truly humbled by your words. I appreciate your help with all of the echinoderm IDs and the occasional tag on an observation. I am inspired by your expansive understanding of echinoids, which drives me to improve so that hopefully I may one day know as much as you. I also love your passion for learning, and love to help teach you about some of the local species from my side of the Pacific. Once again, thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
- Sean

Posted by phelsumas4life over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thank you @tangatawhenua and @phelsumas4life for your kind and thoughtful replies.
Yes I do speak Spanish, but I am losing my accent as for I have no one to listen from other than my friends through skype and yes, I will keep the observations coming also, I enjoy looking at your observations, please keep them coming as well :)

I am honored to know that I have inspired you with my expansive understanding of Echinoids and thank you for teaching me about the Echinoderms on your side of the Pacific ( I am still sometimes having trouble identifying E.troschelii and P.ochraceus, juvenile S.purpuratus and juvenile S.franciscanus and deep ocean Asterozoans). Also if your knowledge widens to include NZ, feel free to ask me or someone else in NZs community (From what I know nzshells and indeynz are good at best at Molluscs and echinoderms, clinton is best at fish, sharks and echinoderms and tangatawhenua, like he (Im not sure, are you a male? I am) said, he is good at identifying a mix of everything. By the way, if I did mention you here and you disagree with what I said your specialty is, I would like to apologize sincerely for I based this solely on what you have said and my experience with seeing what you identify and I mostly focus on Marine Invertebrates and sometimes Arachnids.
-Predomalpha.

Posted by predomalpha over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I'll be sure to let you know if I ever feel the need to learn about NZ fauna (I think I'll stick to my side of the ocean first though). Also if you need help IDing those specific species, I can edit my echinoderm guide with some quick and easy tips/what to look for. Speaking of which, I think you would be very good at making guides (if you want to of course)

Cheers
- Sean

Posted by phelsumas4life over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thank you for the suggestion, yes that could help, I believe that P.ochraceus is quite a variable species, sometimes it can resemble a E.troschelii, so yes, that would help, and than you for saying that my guides are good, I will surely work on some later.

Posted by predomalpha over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Paradise is underwater

Posted by davemmdave over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Definitely.

Posted by predomalpha over 1 year ago (Flag)

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