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Vivid Crinoids

Vivid Crinoids

Two species of brightly colored crinoids living upon a deep-sea black coral (Antipathes specie) near 300 meters (984 feet) depth in Roatan, Honduras. Pale yellow featherstars are likely Crinometra brevipinna. The banded white and orange featherstar may be Neocomatella pulchella, per Dr. Charles Messing, Professor of Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center. The green laser points visible in the lower right are 10 cm (3.98 inches) apart. In 2010 and 2011, a NOAA-led team of researchers explored the deep Meso-American Reef off Roatan, Honduras, as part of a multi-year expedition called 'Deep Coral and Associated Species Taxonomy and Ecology', or DeepCAST. The goal of DeepCAST is to estimate deep-sea coral abundance and diversity; and to discern the nature of the relationship between host corals and their associated species. The primary reasons we study deep-sea corals are because they provide habitat to other species of fish, sea stars, shrimp and crabs; and they grow very slowly, so they are vulnerable to bottom contact fishing gear.

Vivid Crinoids

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