Friday, December 3, 2010

The Brittle Star Link

Two Small Common Brittle Stars, Ophiothrix fragilis
The Common Brittle Star (Ophiothrix fragilis) is a widespread invertebrate of European waters. It has a body comprising of a central, flattened disc from which five narrow arms radiate (1). Dense beds of O. fragilis are quite common in European waters, often of up to 2000 individuals m-2 (2). Their suspension feeding action means that they remove and recycle organic material in the water, and as such provide an important link between benthic and pelagic ecosystems (3).

  1. Sterry, 2004 Collins Complete Guide to Irish Wildilfe p. 176
  2. Broom, 1975 Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 55 pp. 191-197
  3. Allen, 1998 Marine Biology 132 pp. 383-390

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