A pair of crinoids

Underwater flowers?

On the left, looking like a sad flower waving in the breeze, a sea lily.

On the right, as though someone clenched a fistful of feathers, a feather star.

They’re part of the same class of creatures, the crinoids, that can either be stalked and attached to the bottom (lily) or free moving (star). And yes, I said creatures. Despite their resemblance to plants, they are part of kingdom Animalia.

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Back to the ocean

Like a clenched fist

This is some sort of feather star, brought to us from Jackson’s Bar off near Havelock Island in the Andamans. I’ve been obsessing about diving lately as my next trip will be focused entirely on breathing compressed air and marine conservation research in a central American country this March.

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Not a plant, despite perceptions to the contrary

Reaching out

A clinched feather star at night. This is not a plant; it comes from kingdom Animalia.

This is a juvenile of one of the oceans weird and amazing creatures. In adult form, it is often called a sea lillie and attaches itself permanently to a spot with a stalk.

Most often, they appear ball-ed up like this during the day and unfold to filter feed nocturnally. This one was disturbed by divers’ torches during a night dive at The Wall in the Havelock channel. (Though we like to pronounce ourselves ‘eco-tourists’ we can be disruptive, too.)

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