Scientists were scouring the ocean near Antarctica, taking underwater photos. Suddenly, they spotted a strange and disturbing species. What was it? What they saw was the new 20-armed sea creature moving in the depths.
“The Antarctic feather star is a sea creature with ’20 arms’ Some irregular, some feathery In total they can measure up to 20 centimeters long,” as reported by Greg Rouses. He is a professor of marine biology at the University of California in the United States. Together with other specialists, he published his research in Invertebrate Systematics.
“If you get close to its body, a small protrusion at the apex of all those arms, it resembles the size and shape of a strawberry or strawberry,” he explained. He added that cirri have “little claws on the end that are used to hold on to the bottom of the seafloor.” The so-called arms are the longer, feather-like parts.
The formal name of the new species is Promachocrinus fragarius. It belongs to the class Crinoidea. It includes sea stars, sea urchins, sand dollars and sea cucumbers.
The Antarctic strawberry feather star is particularly notable for the number of “arms” it possesses. “Most of them have 10 arms,” Rouse noted. The typical position of a feather star is to have the ‘arms’ extended and upward. With this discovery, the researchers could add eight species under the category of Antarctic feather stars. They will add four new species in total.
“So we went from one species with 20 arms to now eight species. There will be six with 20 arms and two with 10 under the name Promachocrinus,” Rouse said. The new 20-armed sea creature moves between 65 and about 1170 meters below the surface.
The researchers acknowledged in their paper the “otherworldly appearance of the feather stars’ swimming movements. Finding new species in general is not a rare phenomenon,” Rouse said. Our lab names 10 to 15 species a year. We find a lot. The problem is the amount of work involved in identifying them,” he concluded.