Sea star growing in a coral reef

Sea star growing in a coral reef

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Credit: RUDIGER LEHNEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sea star in coral reef. View of a sea star or crinoid (black, upper left) growing on a reef of corals. Crinoids (class Crinoidea) are primitive marine animals related to starfish and sea urchins. They are usually sessile, attaching themselves to rocks by a stem. The stem is attached to a cup-like body or calyx which bears a crown of long, feathery arms. The animal uses these arms for filtering particles of food from the sea. Coral reefs form the basis of extensive and diverse ecosystems. Soft corals (red) differ from hard coral in that the coral organisms do not produce a calcium-rich rock protective layer. Photographed in the Red Sea, Egypt.

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Keywords: animal, coelenterate, coral, coral reef, crinoid, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, red sea, reef, sea star, wildlife, zoology

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