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 (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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