Robust Featherstar

Himerometra robustipinna

The featherstars are amongst the strangest of marine animals living in coral reefs —  echinoderms that are all arms with almost no body. They can be found sitting during the day on elevated parts of the reef or on other animals such as sea whips, sea fans and sponges, where they can catch plankton from the passing currents using their feathered arms. Mostly they cling to the coral with special hooked legs, but if dislodged they can swim short distances in a flurry of curling, dancing arms. This species has up to 60 arms, and grows to about 200 mm long.

It is widespread in the tropical Indian and West Pacific Oceans.

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.

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