Ophiuroidea -Brittle Stars &
There are about 2,000 extant species. They have five branched
or unbranched arms. They lack and anus and the mouth opens to
a blind stomach.
Brittle Star - Ophioderma panamense
Brittle Star - Ophiactis simplex
The brittle star is very fragile and can detach it's arm
to get away from a predator. It will be able to grow back another
identical arm. They are relatively fast, and their thin, whip-like
arms tend to writhe independently of each other when the animal
it is disturbed. The brittle star hides under rocks or among
seaweeds and eats small particles or small organisms like worms.
If you see brittle stars in the tide pool areas, care is
needed to pick up and examine as the arms do detach very easily.