Second place at Wetpixel #381

Last week the theme of the Wetpixel Picture of the Week competition was "Crinoids", and my image entitled "Spider's Web" was voted into second place.

Sometimes, the Antedon bifida can be found in this beautiful, golden variation.

By Christian Skauge   Published: May 9, 2011

The image shows an Antedon bifida feather star, which is quite common at relatively shallow depth at the house reef of Gulen Dive Resort.

Crinoids are most commonly associated with tropical waters, but at certain spots they can be abundant even in Norwegian waters.

They normally prefer deeper waters, but if the current and therefore food supply is right, they will venture as shallow as 12-15 meters.

Red, white and golden

Normally, we se the read and white variation pictured above, but these feather stars may also turn up on all-red, almost white and even in a golden variation.

Feather stars attach themselves to the bottom using a flexible foot, and are able to move around on the bottom and even swim using its arms.

The arms are covered with cirri, small hair-like appendages which are used to capture food particles from the water and help bring them to the mouth of the animal, which is located in the center (the "spike" in the middle on the image above).

Spiny skin

The crinoids belong to the phylum Echinodermata, which means "spiny skin". Although most echinoderms are divided into a fivefold symmetry, the feather stars normally have many more arms.

According to Wikipedia, the name crinoidea comes from greek word krinon, meaning "a lily" and eidos meaning "form".

Sea lillies refer to species attached to the bottom by a stalk, while the free-moving species without a stem are called feather stars.

A total of 40 pictures participated in this weeks competition, and it seems the number is picking up now after a few quiet weeks around the Easter holidays.

Congratulations to Mikino from Slovakia for winning the competition with a really cool "crinoid roll".

Here are the top three images:

Wetpixel Picture of the Week contest is open to anyone registered at the website, which is free. Every week there is a new challenge - you should try it too!

Please click below to see all the images at Wetpixel, or more crinoid images:

   




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