Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday
Image by Justin Hofman
The basket star is found in cold to warm waters in both the northern and southern hemispheres, generally at depths of no more than a few hundred feet. It’s found on the west coast of the United States down to California, and on the east coast down to Massachusetts. It prefers a rocky sea floor, in a spot with a pretty strong current. This extraordinary invertebrate has a mass of twisting and turning arms that can measure a meter long. The middle is a five-pointed body that’s up to a few inches across. An arm extends from each point. Each arm may have two main branches, with many smaller ones extending from each of the bigger ones. Each branch has tiny sharp hooks, allowing the creature to capture prey. It feasts mainly on zooplankton. if the basket star feels threatened, it can wrap its arms around its body to form a tight ball. If attacked, they are able to grow their limbs back if they are broken or chopped off by predators.