Feather Star Freestyles Into Our Hearts
Have you ever seen a feather star swim? We catch views of a variety of marine invertebrates living among corals and sponges but in this exciting clip, you can see a swimming crinoid in all its glorious motion. These creatures have tiny leg-like appendages called cirri that not only help them move along the sediment but also filter food. For major movements like the type seen here, feather stars move their entire arms through the water column. While there are only about 600 species of living crinoids, these animals are well-studied throughout the fossil record.
This sighting was captured on an Unnamed Seamount south of Johnston Atoll in the Central Pacific. Learn more about this expedition funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.
Johnston Atoll, one of the most isolated atolls in the world, is located in the central Pacific Ocean, between the Hawaiian Islands, the Line Islands, and the nation of Kiribati. Around this atoll, the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) was expanded in 2014 to protect the full 200 nautical mile perimeter of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) encompassing many unexplored seafloor features.