Golden crinoid

Golden crinoid
Golden crinoid
Phylum Echinodermata (feather stars, sea strs, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and basket stars)
Davidaster rubiginosa
0 to 100+ ft
There are a number of species of feather stars in the Cayman Islands, however the most commonly seen is the golden crinoid, easily distinguished by its bright yellow coloring. This animal consists of 20 arms, a small body and claw-like feet, which enable it to move around the reef. Each arm is feather-like, often curling toward the tip. The arms are very sticky, catching plankton that drifts past. However, the fragile arms will also stick to skin, wetsuits, dive gear or anything else that brushes against it and will break off. The crinoid is capable of regenerating these lost limbs, however. It is abundant in the Caribbean, and certainly in the Cayman Islands. It is seldom seen in the daytime, however at dusk it walks from the recesses of the reef to exposed areas, extending its arms into the current to filter feed.

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