Bring Your Basket – Star!
We are so excited to see everyone here! It’s Sea Star week here at camp! You may know these amazing echinoderms as starfish, but scientists are now using sea star as these animals are not fish! We bet you’d like to know what an echinoderm is though– it’s an animal that has radial symmetry (arms radiating from a central body) and a hard covering. Other echinoderms include sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sand dollars.
Today, we are meeting one of the craziest enchinoderms around the basket star. Woohoo!
Basket Star Fun Facts:
- Basket stars belong to the brittle star family.
- Most Basket stars are found in deep waters.
- They can reach up to 28 inches across. The central disk is around 5 1/2 inches across.
- They have 5 arms. Those 5 arms then have many many branches.
- They have calcium carbonate structures called ossicles. These give all those arms flexibility and stability.
- Some basket stars feed on plankton or small crustaceans.
- They use spines and hooks to move food up their mouths on the central disk.
- Basket stars also have tube feet to move them around.
These amazing creatures have no brain, but they do have a complex nervous system. The oceans house the craziest critters on the planet!
They have no brain? That is very interesting but it knows it has to eat. I am confused.