Photo of a red Ophiothrix brittle star on a cross-shaped piece of white coral. By Julian Finn from Museum Victoria

 

 

Brittle stars of southern Australia

Brittle stars are a group of sea star like echinoderms. They include the basket stars and snake stars.

Over 200 of the Australian brittle stars are new to science. We have not seen them until recent effort to discover more about diveristy of life in our oceans. They don't even have names.

Victoria has some of the greatest diversity of deep sea brittle stars in the world. This includes animals that live up to 8,000 metres below the surface and animals with microscopic spines, thorns and hooks on their bodies.

Discover and identify the animals below.

A red Ophiothrix brittle star on coral.
Image ~ J Finn © MUSEUMVICTORIA

  Preview some of the animals from deep sea southern Australia in this slideshow

PREVIEW

Photos and descriptions of brittle stars from deep sea southern Australia

DEEP ANIMALS

Scanning electron microscope images of brittle stars from deep sea southern Australia

CLOSE-UP

Delta key to identify deep sea brittle stars from southern Australia

ONLINE KEY

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Marine Sciences, Melbourne Museum, Carlton, Victoria, Australia

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© MUSEUMVICTORIA 2010 ~ updated 10 February 2010