Tropical feather star, similar to the crinoid but without the stalk.
Lovely lily of the sea
- Crinoids are delicate and graceful marine animals – they’re also called sea lilies because they look like underwater plants.
- They belong to the same family as sea urchins and starfish.
- Crinoids don’t move much – they attach themselves to the sea bed or floating drift wood using tiny hooks called cirri. But if they’re threatened by a predator some can let go and swim by undulating their arms.
- Crinoids feed on tiny plankton which they catch with their sticky arms.
- Crinoids have been around for almost 500 million years and still exist today, usually in tropical waters.
- Sometimes many crinoids are packed into one rock. This is because they lived on driftwood and when that sank, the whole colony became fossilised together.
- See this fabulous crinoid in Lyme Regis Museum.
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