Wednesday, August 15, 2007
This is a brittle star. An OPHIUROID. There are about 1,600 species & they are similar in that they have a central disc with well defined arms or rays radiating from it. Most are relatively small, but some in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, may grow to 10 feet across. For the most part the class is mostly pentamerous, having body parts in multiples of five, & with very few of these animals having body parts or appendages not divisible by five. They move by articulating their arms & move their arms or rays by articulating oscicles rather than tube feet. The mouth opens directly to the stomach which may have different sections but they have neither an intestine nor anus. You may see this mouth & into it in the accompanying slide show. (You may browse those images also)
They also have many different feeding methods, but are perfect at cleaning left over food, dead organisms, & such. One of the strangest is that some extend their arms up into the water current, creating an electrstatic current which then attracts charged organic particles.
This one in my tank, I think is beautiful.
They are mostly nocturnal feeders & I see it occasionally. Sometimes I forget it`s in the tank, & at feeding time it`ll come cartwheeling out from the rockwork like a freaky kind of fivetapus.
I put some flavored drops for anyone with a little cough, over at Planet Earth.In the header, is the panorama from last night. Would you tell me which version you like better.
Have a wonderful day & may the sun set, on you happy.