Friday Deep-Sea Picture: Basket star

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Basketstars are enigmatic denizens of the deep. They are broadly distributed in the world’s oceans from the Artic to the Antarctic, occurring as shallow as the shallow subtidal. They can grow to 2-3 feet across, often found associated with deep-sea coral, like this Gorgonocephalus sp. above. Basketstars are suspension feeders, so their feeding mode is similar to deep corals, which may explain their co-occurrence.

Chris Mah’s Echinoblog has details, and tipped me to a nice paper by Rosenberg et al 2005 explaining the biology of Gorgonocephalus in Norwegian fjords. The image above is from the Finding Coral photostream at Flickr.

Peter Etnoyer (406 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.





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