Brittle star

Brittle star
Temporal range: Ordovician to Present
Ophiura ophiura.jpg
Common brittlestar (Ophiura ophiura)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Superclass: Asterozoa
Class: Ophiuroidea
Gray, 1840
Type species
Ophiura ophiura
Reorganized Orders

Subclass Myophiuroidea Matsumoto, 1915

Brittle stars, serpent stars, or ophiuroids (from Latin ophiurus 'brittle star'; from Ancient Greek ὄφις (óphis) 'serpent', and οὐρά (ourá) 'tail'; referring to the serpent-like arms of the brittle star) are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea, closely related to starfish. They crawl across the sea floor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long, slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 cm (24 in) in length on the largest specimens.

The Ophiuroidea contain two large clades, Ophiurida (brittle stars) and Euryalida (basket stars). Over 2,000 species of brittle stars live today.[1] More than 1,200 of these species are found in deep waters, greater than 200 m deep.[1]

  1. ^ a b Stöhr, S.; O'Hara, T.D.; Thuy, B. (2012). "Global diversity of brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea)". PLOS ONE. 7 (3): e31940. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...731940S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031940. PMC 3292557. PMID 22396744.

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