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Explore the Collection: Echinoderms

Image of Feather Star

Feather Star

Feather stars (Class: Crinoidea) possess upward branching arms, giving them a cup-like appearance. The arms, similar to feathers in appearance, branch from a central disc and can range in number from five up to 200.

Small side branches on the arms, known as pinnules, possess slender, pointed tube feet, which trap food particles from the water. The food is then passed to a cilia lined groove that runs along the arms, where sticky mucus carries the particles to the mouth.

Adult feather stars are able to move around their environment, but are also able to cling to coral or sponges using structures known as cirri.

Feather stars are most common in relatively shallow, warm waters and below depths of about 200 metres feather stars are replaced by stalked forms, known as sea lilies. Feather stars are most abundant in areas with strong ocean currents as they rely on the current to bring them food.

Did you know?

Feather Stars get their name due to their feather-like arms.

Photos of Feather Stars Found in the Dampier Archipelago

Clarkcomanthus littoralis. Photograph: Sue Morrison, WA Museum

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Echinoderm species: Feather Stars, Sea Stars, Brittle Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers.
Jump to: Flora, Sponges, Corals, Crustaceans, Molluscs, Echinoderms, Fishes.