The 27 Best Deep-Sea Species: #25 Stalked Crinoids


Stalked Crinoids (Phylum Echiondermata, Class Crinoidea, Sub Class Articulata)

Sure we call them sea lilies but they’re no pansies.  While most people have nightmares about giant squid or shark, the denizens of the deep I fear are crinoids.  They may look innocent and flower-like but in them rest the beating heart of a predator.  I lie, they don’t have hearts just a water vascular system.  Crinoids are just cold-blooded killers, pun intended.  I’m exaggerating.  They are suspension feeders and can’t take out anything more than a tiny crustacean.  However, they do congregate in areas just looking for trouble.  Did I mention yet that they can crawl?  Watch the video below and see if you don’t have nightmares.  Chuck Messing, Dr. Crinoid, has a great website chock-o-block full of information (photos and video courtesy of Dr. Crinoid).

Photo from Smithsonian Photo Gallery

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

4 Replies to “The 27 Best Deep-Sea Species: #25 Stalked Crinoids”

  1. Yikes, that video does give me the shivers…

    ..And I’m intrigued to see what you have in store with the remaining 24!

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