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Friday, June 16, 2017

Super star

Joe and Sam dropped by to say they had found something interesting in an aquarium at the marine lab.  I was a little surprised to look down and see one of the largest brittle stars I've ever seen!

We found a smaller Flat-spined Brittle Star (Ophiopteris papillosa) last year, but the size of this individual was notable.  The central disc alone was ~3 cm (~1 inch) across!

Here's a close-up of the disc:

 And a view of the flattened spines at the tip of one arm:

Amazingly, the largest specimens of this species have central discs up to 4.5 cm across!

Many thanks to Joe and Sam for sharing this impressive brittle star.

For a look at the smaller individual we photographed last year, along with a short video clip, see the post from 1 March 2017

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