Scientists discover new species of feather stars with 20 arms

New Species of Feather Star Discovered in Antarctic

In a groundbreaking discovery, researchers have unveiled a new species of feather stars in the Antarctic. These mesmerizing creatures, which belong to the same family as starfish, possess an astounding 20 “arms” that aid in their mobility.

Officially named Promachocrinus fragarius, after its resemblance to a strawberry, these Antarctic feather stars can reach lengths of up to eight inches. Their bodies are adorned with circular bumps, giving them an uncanny similarity to the size and shape of their fruity namesake.

What sets the Antarctic strawberry feather star apart is the presence of minute claws on its body’s cirri. These tiny appendages enable the creature to grip firmly onto the seafloor, enhancing its stability. Meanwhile, its arms, covered in delicate, feathery structures, facilitate smooth movement across the Antarctic waters.

The recent discovery of this unique species has significantly enriched the Antarctic feather star group. Previously only consisting of one recognized species, the category now boasts a total of eight, including Promachocrinus fragarius and four other recent findings.

Plunging to depths between 215 and 3,840 feet below the ocean’s surface, researchers made this incredible find during a recent expedition. The seafloor of the Antarctic surprisingly harbors countless undiscovered species, and while it is not uncommon for new ones to be unearthed, the novelty and distinctiveness of each discovery never fails to fascinate scientists.

Experts usually assign names to approximately 10 to 15 newly discovered species every year. However, it is clear that the unveiling of Promachocrinus fragarius is poised to captivate both scientists and enthusiasts alike due to its striking appearance and its contribution to expanding our understanding of the Antarctic feather stars.

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As we continue to delve deeper into the wondrous mysteries of the Antarctic, these remarkable discoveries not only remind us of the incredible diversity of life on our planet, but also highlight the importance of protecting and preserving these fragile ecosystems for future generations.

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About the Author: Sarah Gracie

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