Brittlestar City: The Video

9 Replies to “Brittlestar City: The Video”

  1. Pretty amazing. Was that a remote sub or human operated? I wonder if the lasers are used to determine proximity to the sea floor?

  2. These aggregations of brittle stars are fairly common. I’ve seen them once or twice before. How about you, CM and KZ?

    I’m inclined to think this is a towed camera because the up and down motion of the camera is enough to make you ill.

    Bryan, the lasers are used as a scale to estimate many things, distance from the seafloor among them. Also the size of organisms, area swept, etc for purposes of analysis.

  3. Definitely towed camera. I’ve seen dense aggregations of brittle stars. But probably not anything that dense or widespread.

  4. In deep Gulf of Mexico methane seeps, there are bucket loads of brittle stars associated with tubeworm aggregations (I think, I’ll double check).

  5. I forget, is there anything remotely interesting about brittlestars? ;)

  6. OK, double-checked and a grad student in the Fisher lab says brittle stars covered the mussel beds (not tubeworms) in the Deep Gulf of Mexico. Oodles of them I say!

    Peter, food for molluscs?

  7. I hear from my advisor they’re hardly good for that, mate, tooo crunchy, but they show up in fish stomachs so maybe they good for somethin’ after all!

    I have some nice video of the GoMx ophiuroids on deep gorgonian corals Callogorgia sp. at ~530 m from 2003. They appeared fleshy. I wonder if they are the same species or genus. These can be abundant.

  8. Perhaps fish need calcium supplements just like people do?

    Some of the Deep Gulf of Mex brittle stars we collect from Lophelia and seep include Ophienigma spinilimbatum, Amphioplus sp., and Ophiotreta valenciennesi rufescens.

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