Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Treasures of Paris 2013: Brittle Stars @Le_Museum!

PARIS! I'm here continuing my research at the world famous and awesome Museum national d'Histoire naturelle! (Twitter: @Le_museum) in Paris, France!

Many of my new species were found in these collections. I enjoy my visits to Paris, one of the most delightful cities in the world, and of course, the opportunity to collaborate with my echinoderm colleagues (whom I've profiled in prior posts!)
My work involves sorting through hundreds of asteroid specimens collected from the most exotic places in the world.. New Caledonia, Madagascar, the Solomon Islands...

I never pass up an opportunity to share these awesome collections (many are likely undescribed!). In the past, I've shown exotic sea urchins  and crinoids (stalked and unstalked)!

This time around I thought I would share another group with exotic members from distant locales: The brittle stars and serpent stars (aka the Ophiuroidea)!

So here's an assortment...

From New Caledonia, 480 meter depth: Amphiophiura bakeri!  The central disk is pretty much a solid ball... The actual animal is small, only about two inches across..

Here's a nice shot of Amphiophiura liberata from Fiji, 488-500 m. Yes, those five primary plates kinda got nipples on 'em. 

One of my favorites..identified as Ophiomusium, possibly O. scalare (thanks to Rafael).. But its from New Caledonia (about 300 m depth)

Here we have Ophionotus hexactis from the Kerguelen Islands (subAntarctic region). Yes. A SIX rayed brittle star. Not too many of those...


Some species of euryalid ophiuroids (aka serpent stars) live on deep-sea coral (gorgonian) hosts. These were collected while still tightly wrapped around the branches...

and here's a huge brittle star (Ophiothrix longipeda) in a handsome glass-wood display case!

Why?  Because this was one of the original specimens prepared by the great French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck! 


Rafael said...

The specimens are really beautiful!

As far as “One of my favorites..which I unfortunately don't have a name for ..” is concerned: this is Ophiomusium; possibly O. scalare.

Greetings from Tenerife, Spain.

ChrisM said...

Thanks Rafael! your correction has been noted!