Basket star

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Basketstars
Basket star feeding at night at the Red Sea.JPG
Basket star (Astroboa nuda) feeding at night at the Red Sea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Ophiuroidea
Order: Phrynophiurida
Suborder: Euryalina
Lamarck, 1816
Families

Asteronychidae
Asteroschematidae
Gorgonocephalidae
Euryalidae

Close-up of (Astroboa nuda) basket star arm fragment
Basket star taken from the Atlantic Ocean

Basket stars are a group of brittle stars. They are treated as a suborder Euryalina[1] or order Euryalida.[2] Many of them have characteristic many-branched arms. They generally live in deep sea habitats. In the wild they may live up to 35 years. They weigh up to 11 lbs (5 kg). Like other echinoderms, basket stars lack blood and achieve gas exchange via their water vascular system.

The basket stars are the largest ophiuroids with Gorgonocephalus stimpsoni measuring up to 70 cm in arm length with a disk diameter of 14 cm.[3]

Systematics and phylogeny[edit]

The fossil record of this group is rather poor and only dates back to Carboniferous.[4] Basket stars are divided into the following families:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Euryalina". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ Smith, A.B.; Paterson, G.L.J. . Ophiuroid phylogeny and higher taxonomy: morphological, molecular and palaeontological perspectives. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 114 (1995)
  3. ^ Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, vol 1, Gale Cengage 2003
  4. ^ E.Clarkson, E. N.K. Clarkson, Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution. Wiley-Blackwell; 4.ed. (1998)