Some animals vent their anuses. And, no, I’m not referring to the act of waving a hand around ones posterior to diffuse the gaseous remnants of chilidogs. Some sea stars, sea cucumbers, crinoids, worms, and crustaceans all pump huge volumes of water into and out of their anus. Why would you do this outside of . . . → Read More: Butt munchers
Unlike their Echinoderm brethren, brittle stars do not move along on tube feet that can propel them in any direction. Instead, brittle stars ‘walk’. This mode of movement by brittle stars is even more astonishing when it is considered that brittle stars, like all echinoderms, are not bilaterally symmetrical, i.e mirror imaged halves. All . . . → Read More: These Arms Were Made For Walking
[mappress] Yellow feather star (comatulid crinoid). Photo courtesy of MBARI. We dove Wednesday on North Cleft (45.030268, -130.182166), a massive ravine over 100 meters deep and a few hundred meters wide formed by the spreading of the Juan de Fuca and Pacific Plates. At 2.5 kilometers depth, we explored three inactive hydrothermal vents, the tallest . . . → Read More: NE Pacific Expedition Day 8 & 9
Photo courtesy of MBARI. Coryphaenoides acrolepis in Monterey Canyon. Rattail fish are caught and sold under the more palatable name, “grenadier.” However, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program recommends that consumers do not purchase or eat grenadier because the fish grow very slowly and may not reproduce until they are 30 or 40 years . . . → Read More: Simple Summer Recipes for Dead Seafloor Carrion
People accept the idea of echinoderm predation on shallow reef building corals. The voracious Crown of Thorns seastar Acanthaster planci is a familiar coral antagonist on the Great Barrier Reef, part of a natural process that may or may not be amplified by anthropogenic disturbance. Asteroid predation on deep-sea corals is more difficult to . . . → Read More: Friday Picture: Have your coral and eat it, too?
Japanese researchers recently set a record with the deepest in-situ observation of a criniod. In the words of the authors, Previous records of stalked crinoids from hadal depths (exceeding 6000 m) are extremely rare, and no in-situ information has been available. We show here that stalked crinoids live densely on rocky substrates at depths . . . → Read More: The Deepest Crinoids
Dr. Mah direct quoate, “Small snails (genus Stilapex) that work their way into the body wall and suck on their juices!! So, what's weirder then sea pigs??? SEA PIG SNAIL PARASITES!!!!” Photo from Australian R/V Tangaroa weekly log Everything you ever wanted to know about sea pigs (Holothuroidea: Scotoplanes sp.) from the Echinoblog. The best . . . → Read More: Sea Pigs
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 . . . → Read More: Friday Deep-Sea Picture: Basket star
Sea urchin offspring have one of the coolest names in the plankton. They’re called “pluteus” larvae. Yet, according to this narrator, urchins don’t know or care for their progeny. They’re a by-product of the motion in the ocean, baby. That’s just how they roll… . . . → Read More: Are sea urchins bad parents?
Christopher Taylor at the Catologue of Organisms (one of the handful of blogs I rush to when I see an update in my Reader!) has a post on a really unique reproductive strategy in polychaetes, called epitoky, in the awesomely titled My Genitals Just Grew Eyes and Swam Away. Its quite astonishing, especially the bit . . . → Read More: It Must Be “Hump” Day in the Blogosphere