Noble feather star, Comaster nobilis

The noble feather star (also known as the yellow feather star) reaches up to 15.75 inches in diameter with a cup-shaped body. There can be 35-40 arms extending out of the central part of the body. The arms are primarily yellow with the underside having a variation to include black, green, or white.

The noble feather star feeds on food debris, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Phytoplankton and zooplankton are microscopic organisms that are present mainly in the layer of the oceans that is exposed to the sunlight.

The noble feather larvae stage consists of free-swimmers, swimming for two to three weeks amongst the plankton. The larvae then settle to the sea floor to grow a stalk and mature. Once they mature the stalk breaks off and becomes free-living.

The noble feather star is found in the Indo-Pacific, the Coral Sea, the Great Barrier Reef, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Caledonia, and the Philippines. Hard or soft coral in shallow water is the prime location for the noble feather star. The depths ranges between 32 and 164 feet.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class: Crinoidea

Subclass: Articulata

Order: Comatulida

Family: Comasteridae

Image Caption: Comaster nobilis in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Credit: Hectonichus / Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)