Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brittle Star Found on Antarctic Seamount

Tens of millions of brittle-stars, a relative of the starfish, were found carpeting the flat top of a 750m (2,500ft) seamount. The habitat is part of the 870-mile (1,400km) Macquarie Ridge, a range of marine mountains running south from New Zealand. - TIMES ONLINE

A teeming horde of brittle stars has been discovered atop an undersea mountain chain near Antarctica, challenging long-held assumptions about the ecological role of such submerged peaks, known as seamounts. - NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NEWS

An undated image shows a few of the many millions of brittle stars recently found on a shallow Antarctic seamount, or submerged mountain range.The unique find occurred as part of the Census of Marine Life project, a ten-year survey of ocean organisms.

Photograph by NIWA © 2008

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