- feather star
a free-swimming crinoid.[1860-65]
* * *Any of the 550 living species of crinoid echinoderms (class Crinoidea) that lack the stalk that their relatives the sea lilies use to attach themselves to the ocean bottom.Most species have five feathery-fringed arms. Feather stars usually attach themselves to a surface or a floating object and feed on drifting microorganisms, trapping them in their sticky arm grooves. They live mainly on rocky bottoms in shallow water. Most abundant from the Indian Ocean to Japan, they are also found in the Atlantic.Feather star (Comantheria grandicalyx)Douglas Faulkner
* * *any of the 550 living species of crinoid marine invertebrates (class Crinoidea) of the phylum Echinodermata lacking a stalk. The arms, which have feathery fringes and can be used for swimming, usually number five. Feather stars use their grasping “legs” (called cirri) to perch on sponges, corals, or other substrata and feed on drifting microorganisms, trapping them in the sticky arm grooves. Feather stars traditionally belong to a single order (Comatulida) and are often referred to as “comatulids”; however, some authorities divide these animals into several orders.Feather stars occur chiefly on rocky bottoms in shallow water. They are most abundant from the Indian Ocean to Japan, where Tropiometra is the commonest genus. Antedon is the best known genus in the Atlantic.
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