Feather stars now on exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium

Now’s your chance to cast your eyes upon the rarely seen and aptly named feather star. Visit our Puget Sound Fish exhibit to marvel over these graceful echinoderms—you may find it hard to believe they’re related to sea stars, sea cucumbers, sand dollars and sea urchins!

Feather stars now on exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium

 

The feather star’s mouth is on the top (near the purple star in our photo). It uses its five arms (which look like ten because they fork near the base) to gather food particles in the water, and then transport them by mucus and tiny tube feet to its mouth. The claw-like cirri (the appendages at the red arrows in our photo) can hold onto sponges and other firm surfaces, and “walk” the animal to other locations. If threatened by sunflower sea stars or other predators, the feathery arms can propel the animal away from danger.

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