Monday, November 9, 2015

Paris 2015: The Starfish Mouth in Abstract


Bonjour and Greetings! My apologies for missing a post last week! I am currently on a research visit at the world famous Museum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris! Between jet lag and getting my work set up, things got away from me!                                                                                     
This week, A collection of starfish mouths! Echinoderm anatomy often fascinates people. The symmetry is one reason, but also the very intricate architecture and unusual textures. 

Here is a collection of close ups and abstracts from echinoderms in the Tokyo Museum.

Here's an assortment of mouths & mouthparts from the collections of sea stars in Paris! I see the adaptations for survival in these structures.

Spines serve a protective function in many species but are also part of how the animal feeds. The full range of how these structures function is not clear. In contrast, other mouths are surrounded by granules or plates presenting a somewhat different interpretation.

but certainly.. these might even evoke more artistic interpretations from others!

Euretaster, a tropical slime star. Spines galore!
From Luidia, a multi-rayed sand star
From the Antarctic Odontaster.. note the big "teeth" on each plate. These are thought to function in sponge predation.
Protective mouth plates on Lithosoma
On a tropical oreasterid
On the sand star, Astropecten
 On a "cushion star" Peltaster placenta
From the tropical cushion star Culcita novaeguineae
A deep-sea mud star, Plutonaster
 Deep sea goniasterid, Nymphaster
 A deep-water oreasterid! 

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