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Latest Echinoderms Stories

Atlantic Ocean Gets Hit With Invasive Brittle Star Species
2012-08-20 12:37:24

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The appearance and ecology of Atlantic coral reef habitats could be altered by yellow brittle star A study co-written by Dr. Gordon Hendler of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) about an invasive species of brittle star, Ophiothela mirabilis, has been published online in Coral Reefs, the Journal of the International Society for Reef Studies. Growing populations have established themselves at distant points in...

Sea Star Evolution
2012-07-26 14:08:55

How quickly can new species arise? In as little as 6,000 years, according to a study of Australian sea stars. "That's unbelievably fast compared to most organisms," said Rick Grosberg, professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis and coauthor on the paper published July 18 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Grosberg is interested in how new species arise in the ocean. On land, groups of plants and animals can be physically isolated by mountains or rivers and then...

5-Limbed Brittle Stars Move Bilaterally, Like People
2012-05-10 04:47:57

Brainless organisms choose a central arm and head that way It appears that the brittle star, the humble, five-limbed dragnet of the seabed, moves very similarly to us. In a series of first-time experiments, Brown University evolutionary biologist Henry Astley discovered that brittle stars, despite having no brain, move in a very coordinated fashion, choosing a central arm to chart direction and then designating other limbs to propel it along. Yet when the brittle star wants to change...

Purple Sea Urchin Metamorphosis Controlled By Histamine
2012-04-27 07:06:53

Now that hay fever season has started, sufferers are well aware of the effect of histamines. However it is easy to forget that histamine is also a neurotransmitter involved in controlling memories, regulating sleep, and controlling secretion of gastric acid. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Developmental Biology shows that for the purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) histamine is also responsible for controlling metamorphosis from a free swimming...

2011-10-18 13:14:01

Ciliary beating of Platynereis gives insights into an ancestral state of nervous system evolution As planktonic organisms the larvae of the marine annelid Platynereis swim freely in the open water. They move by activity of their cilia, thousands of tiny hair-like structures forming a band along the larval body and beating coordinately. With changing environmental conditions the larvae swim upward and downward to their appropriate water depth. Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for...

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2011-05-03 08:17:47

Extinction of fishes 360 million years ago created natural ecology experiment In modern ecology, the removal or addition of a predator to an ecosystem can produce dramatic changes in the population of prey species. For the first time, scientists have observed the same dynamics in the fossil record, thanks to a mass extinction that decimated ocean life 360 million years ago. What was bad for fish was good for the fish's food, according to a paper published May 2 in Proceedings of the National...

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2011-05-03 08:06:20

Janies applies sequencing, supercomputing to correct erroneous classification A team of scientists has combined embryological observations, genetic sequencing, and supercomputing to determine that a group of small disk-shaped animals that were once thought to represent a new class of animals are actually starfish that have lost the large star-shaped, adult body from their life cycle. In a paper for the journal Systematic Biology, Daniel Janies, Ph.D., a computational biologist in the...

2011-02-02 15:21:29

Estuaries are highly appropriate systems for evaluating contamination. They are areas of accumulation of sediments and, effectively, numerous contaminants are found associated with these sedimentary particles. For a comprehensive evaluation, it is important to undertake studies on the effects of the contaminants in the environment; the toxicity trials enabling the quantification of such effects. These trials involve exposing organisms to sediments suspected of being contaminated, in order to...

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2010-03-16 08:09:24

Nature abounds with examples of evolutionary arms races. Certain marine snails, for example, evolved thick shells and spines to avoid be eaten, but crabs and fish foiled the snails by developing shell-crushing claws and jaws. Common as such interactions may be, it's often difficult to trace their origins back in evolutionary time. Now, a study by University of Michigan paleontologist Tomasz Baumiller and colleagues finds that sea urchins have been preying on marine animals known as crinoids...

2009-12-23 08:14:10

Some of the most common minerals in biology, including those in bones and shells, have a mysterious structure: Their crystals are positioned in the same orientation, making them behave as one giant crystal, even though they do not look like a faceted crystal. It's as if grains of salt were spilled on a rug, yet instead of landing randomly, all wound up with exactly the same angle and rotation. In a new study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Pupa Gilbert, a professor of physics...


Latest Echinoderms Reference Libraries

Red Sea Fire Urchin, Asthenosoma marisrubri
2013-11-21 12:03:03

The Red Sea Fire Urchin or Toxic Leather Sea Urchin (Asthenosoma marisrubri) is a relatively common sea urchin with a widespread distribution within the Indo-Pacific, and was, until 1998, considered a color variant of Asthenosoma Varium. Sea urchins are close relatives are crinoids, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, and starfish, all being echinoderms. This species grows to 25 centimeters in diameter, with articulated plates making the test quite flexible. It prefers water temperatures between...

Ophiocoma scolopendrina
2013-11-15 10:40:07

Ophiocoma scolopendrina is a species of brittle star in the family Ophiocomidae. Ophiocoma scolopendrina, similar to other brittle star, have long and thin arms stemming from a small dish-shaped body and are around the size of an outstretched human hand. They belong to the phylum of echinoderms, which incorporates sea urchins, sea stars, and sea cucumbers. Dorsal disc and dorsal arm plates vary from black, multicolored black to a pale brown. The arms are abnormally banded. They can...

Orange Sun Star, Solaster paxillatus
2013-11-14 12:25:33

The orange sun star (Solaster paxillatus) is a species of starfish that is classified in the Solasteridae family. It can be found the Pacific Ocean with a range that extends from California in the United States to the Bering Sea and Japan. This species prefers to reside at depths between 36 and 12,270 feet. The orange sun star has a wide disk that appears to be inflated, especially after feeding, with eight to ten arms. It can reach fifteen inches in diameter with a color that varies...

Northern Sun Star, Solaster endeca
2013-11-14 11:54:31

The northern sun star (Solaster endeca), also known as the purple sun star or the smooth sun star, is a species of starfish that is classified within the Solasteridae family. It can be found in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean with a range that includes coastlines of Greenland, Canada, and the United States. It prefers a habitat in areas with adequate to heavy shelter and muddy or rocky sediment, at depths of up to 1,480 feet. The northern sun star is large, reaching a diameter of 7.9...

Morning Sun Star, Solaster dawsoni
2013-11-11 11:20:37

The morning sun star (Solaster dawsoni) is a species of starfish that is classified within the Solasteridae family. It can be found in northern areas of the Pacific Ocean with a range that extends from the coasts of China, Japan, and Siberia to the coasts of California in the United States. It prefers a habitat in rocky areas at depths of up to 1,380 feet. This species has two subspecies known as Solaster dawsoni dawsoni and Solaster dawsoni arcticus. It has a wide body with eight to thirteen...

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Word of the Day
pungle
  • To take pains; labor assiduously with little progress.
This word comes from the Spanish 'pongale,' put it.
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