129/150: Brittle stars know how to get around!

Animalia: Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea: Ophiurida: Ophiactidae: Ophiopholis: Ophiopholis aculeata (Linnaeus, 1767)

The daisy or crevice brittle star, Ophiopholis aculeata, is one of many species of brittle stars that live in Canadian waters. A circumpolar species, these echinoderms are recognizable by their long, thin arms, quite distinct from their central plate. Unlike other sea stars, brittle stars do not use their tube feet for locomotion, but instead use wriggling movements of their whole arms to move. Despite being a radially symmetrical animal, brittle star locomotion is much like a bilaterally symmetrical animal – choosing a lead arm and then using paired movements of their other arms (almost like rowing) to move themselves. These arms are connected to the central disc with a ball and socket type joint – much like our shoulders, giving brittle stars an incredible amount of flexibility! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen HUNT0053 – St. Andrews, New Brunswick – 6-Aug-2008
A daisy star, photographed in a tidepool in New Hampshire. Photo Credit: Ken-ichi Ueda goo.gl/TFimJz
Specimen image of Ophiopholis aculeata taken in 1903 by Arnold, Augusta Foote. Photo Credit: Freshwater and Marine Image Bank goo.gl/U5qr2B

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: DSPEC124-07

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Brittle sea star

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAA9003

64/150: Birds of the Sea

Animalia: Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida: Antedonidae: Heliometrinae: Florometra: Florometra serratissima (AH Clark, 1907)

While you wouldn’t think birds would be able to exist in the ocean, the common feather star Florometra serratissima could very well be considered the bird of the sea! They are able to move around either by grasping terrain with their claw-like cirri or by swimming through the water with their feather-like arms. Continue reading “64/150: Birds of the Sea”

60/150: A beautiful, colourful sea cucumber hiding its beauty in-between crevices

Animalia: Echinodermata: Holothuroidea: Dendrochirotida: Cucumariidae: Cucumaria: Cucumaria miniata Brandt, 1835

The Orange Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata) is easily recognizable by its distinct orange pigment. This radiant colouration is the result of the pigment created by cinnabar or vermilion. Sea cucumbers are related to sea stars and sea urchins, they are all from the phylum Echinodermata, which feature radial symmetry and tube feet. Underwater, this creature displays its oral tentacles in the form of a bush for feeding, while keeping the remaining parts of its body hidden between the crevices of rocks. Continue reading “60/150: A beautiful, colourful sea cucumber hiding its beauty in-between crevices”

35/150: A Purple Sea Urchin for Purple Day!

animalia: Echinodermata: Echinoidea: Echinoida: Strongylocentrotidae: Strongylocentrotus: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Stimpson, 1857)

Today is Purple Day, a day of support for people with epilepsy. We thought we’d share a very purple creature, the Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Continue reading “35/150: A Purple Sea Urchin for Purple Day!”