Weird Creatures From the Deep

A massive census of the oceans has turned up a trove of strange marine wildlife, from jellyfish to octopuses to anemones

The Australian Dragonfish (Dr. Julian Finn, Museum Victoria)


sponge brittle star
(Brian Wolly)
The sponge brittle star (Ophiothrix suensonii) lives within or near sponges and soft corals in the ocean. These are not your average starfish—adorned with long, shiny spines on each of their arms, these stars come in a range of colors befitting a sunset. Unlike areas such as Australia, which has a high number of species found only in that region, the enclosed Caribbean has fewer than 2,000 endemic species. And that limited biodiversity has been threatened in recent years by hurricanes, disease, pollution, climate change and overfishing.

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