Tag Archives: weird animal

Weird Animal Monday: Feather Star

Characterized by a mouth on the top surface that is surrounded by feeding arms.
Characterized by a mouth on the top surface that is surrounded by feeding arms.

Although it may be hard to tell from just images alone, this is a very weird creature. From photos it resembles an aquatic plant but they are in fact marine animals. They are Crinoids, and they live in depths as great as 9,000 meters. When they are adults, they are attached to the sea bottom by a stalk and are commonly called sea lilies. When they are unstalked and out swimming, they are called feather stars. The majority of Crinoids are free-swimming and have only a vestigial stalk.

Crinoids feed by filtering small particles of food from the sea water with their feather like arms. The tube feet are covered with a sticky mucus that traps food that floats past. They then use the arms to propel the mucus towards its mouth located in between all the arms. It doesn’t have a true stomach so the esophagus connects directly to the intestine. There are both male and female Crinoids (Feather Stars), and they reproduce by releasing sperm and eggs into the surrounding water.

Why do I think these are weird animals? If the description you just read about them doesn’t convince you, check out the video below.

Source: Wikipedia

Weird Animal Monday: Blue Dragon

The Glaucus Atlanticus, also known as the sea swallow, blue angel, blue glaucus, blue dragon, blue sea slug, and blue ocean slug.

Although this little mystical-looking creature resembles a dragon, it’s only a sea slug. It feeds on other pelagic creatures like the venomous cnidarian. Picking up one of these isn’t recommended, the ability to store nematocysts within its own tissues, to be able to eat other venomous creatures, also allows them to deliver a painful sting.

These slugs don’t grow to be much larger than 3 centimeters in length. You won’t find these in U.S waters, they are found in the East and South Coast of South Africa, European waters, the east coast of Australia and Mozambique. They float upside down on the surface tension of the ocean. Their gas-filled sac in its stomach allows them to float on the water’s surface.

Here is a video of a few that were collected in New South Wales.

Source: Wikipedia