|Figure 6 from Stohr et al., 2012|
Stöhr also described some NEW species from these seamounts at fairly deep-depths (about 373-671 meters)
Pics below show the top surface of the disk which is quite small (2 to 5 millimeter diameter!)
That includes this very rarely encountered genus Ophioleuce, new species Ophioleuce longispinum
|Figure 2 from Stohr et al.|
|From Figure 3, Stohr et al.|
|Figure 4 from Stohr et al.|
Here is a series of close ups of the disk on this species...
|Figure 5 from Stohr et al.|
- Are these evidence of endemism of these species on seamounts? (i.e., do they occur ONLY on these special habitats?)
- Are they rare or rarely encountered? Do these reflect uniqueness of the habitat or merely that they have not been collected very often?
- Could the morphology of these species suggest an broad overall ecological morphology to living in this unique setting (on the seamount)?
- How will further specimens inform us about the growth and the evolution of other brittle stars?
Stay tuned and hopefully we will be able to present more from echinoderms collected from the Indo-Pacific deeps!