A "jogging flower" creeping away from trouble:

>> Thursday, July 24, 2008

The humble sea lily (Endoxocrinus parrae) is an ocean animal closely related to the starfish, sea cucumber and sea urchin. With a ring of feathery fingers and a stalk 50 centimeters long, it resembles an ocean garden flower. And it has a sophisticated method for avoiding danger as caught in the video after the jump which shows a sea lily crawling slowly across the ocean floor on its fingers, dragging its broken stem behind it.
The video was discovered by Tomasz Baumiller of the University of Michigan and Charles Messing of Nova Southeastern University's Oceanographic Center in Florida, both in the US, from archive footage captured over the last decade. It was presented at a meeting of the Geological Society of America on 16 October.

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Other footage and photographs captured suggest that the sea lily makes its ocean floor dash to escape the attentions of sea urchins, which have been seen lurking on the sea bed behind the traveling sea lilies –
"It's the lizard's tail strategy", Baumiller says. "The sea lily just leaves the stalk end behind. The sea urchin is preoccupied going after that, and the sea lily crawls away."


backroadsgirl July 26, 2008 at 3:59 PM  

I'm always so amazed at all the wonderous creatures of the world. How cool is that sea lily!


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