Ophiuroidea: Brittle and Basket Stars
The brittle stars can scurry using their 5 long arms, making them the fastest moving of the echinoderms. They are much more secretive than their cousins the sea-stars and are generally found under rocks, in crevaces, or partially buried in soft-sediments. Brittle stars are predators on smaller invertebrates, as well as scavengers and at times filter feeders. Basket stars have branching, almost prehensile legs and are generally filter feeders.
There are approximately 29 species of brittle stars and only 3 species of basket stars in the Arctic. They can be found from shallow waters to the deepest depths of the basins.
Page Author: Bodil Bluhm
Created: Oct 24, 2008