With bright colors and diverse shapes, these voracious predators are the stars of the show in the deep ocean. Members of the phylum Echinodermata, class Asteroidea, sea stars are characterized by their radial symmetry, rough exterior, and many tube feet. Despite the absence of a brain, these invertebrates are capable of complex coordination for movement and feeding. Admire the stars of expedition Luʻuaeaahikiikekumu in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument for views of some unique behaviors witnessed on these never before seen peaks.
Album compiled by Science Communication Fellow Christopher Clauss.
(Taxonomic identification is preliminary and guided by v3 of the NOAA Benthic Deepwater Animal Identification Guide)
This expedition will have E/V Nautilus returning to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) to build on the accomplishments of the 2021 Luʻuaeaahikiikalipolipo expedition, which mapped the previously unmapped Liliʻuokalani Ridge Seamounts. The team returns for the first visual exploratory surveys of the seamount chain looking to investigate a puzzling split in the seamount trail.