feather star

a free-swimming crinoid.
[1860-65]

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Any of the 550 living species of crinoid echinoderms (class Crinoidea) that lack the stalk that their relatives the sea lilies use to attach themselves to the ocean bottom.

Most species have five feathery-fringed arms. Feather stars usually attach themselves to a surface or a floating object and feed on drifting microorganisms, trapping them in their sticky arm grooves. They live mainly on rocky bottoms in shallow water. Most abundant from the Indian Ocean to Japan, they are also found in the Atlantic.

Feather star (Comantheria grandicalyx)

Douglas Faulkner

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 any of the 550 living species of crinoid marine invertebrates (class Crinoidea) of the phylum Echinodermata lacking a stalk. The arms, which have feathery fringes and can be used for swimming, usually number five. Feather stars use their grasping “legs” (called cirri) to perch on sponges, corals, or other substrata and feed on drifting microorganisms, trapping them in the sticky arm grooves. Feather stars traditionally belong to a single order (Comatulida) and are often referred to as “comatulids”; however, some authorities divide these animals into several orders.

      Feather stars occur chiefly on rocky bottoms in shallow water. They are most abundant from the Indian Ocean to Japan, where Tropiometra is the commonest genus. Antedon is the best known genus in the Atlantic.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Feather star — Feather Feath er (f[e^][th] [ e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj[ o][eth]r, Sw. fj[ a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero n wing, feather, pe tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • feather star — n. any of an order (Comatulida) of unattached, free swimming crinoids; comatulid …   English World dictionary

  • feather star — noun Date: 1862 any of an order (Comatulida) of free swimming stalkless crinoids …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • feather star — noun an echinoderm (marine invertebrate) with a small disc like body and long feathery arms. [Order Comatulida: many species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • feather-star — /ˈfɛðə sta/ (say fedhuh stah) noun See crinoid (def. 2) …   Australian English dictionary

  • feather star — noun free swimming stalkless crinoid with ten feathery arms; found on muddy sea bottoms • Syn: ↑comatulid • Hypernyms: ↑crinoid • Member Holonyms: ↑Antedon, ↑genus Antedon …   Useful english dictionary

  • Feather — Feath er (f[e^][th] [ e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj[ o][eth]r, Sw. fj[ a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero n wing, feather, pe tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and prob.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Feather alum — Feather Feath er (f[e^][th] [ e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj[ o][eth]r, Sw. fj[ a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero n wing, feather, pe tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Feather bed — Feather Feath er (f[e^][th] [ e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj[ o][eth]r, Sw. fj[ a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero n wing, feather, pe tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Feather driver — Feather Feath er (f[e^][th] [ e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj[ o][eth]r, Sw. fj[ a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero n wing, feather, pe tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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