Wednesday 31 May 2017

Horror At Arms

Uh oh. Do you have a couch handy to hide behind? A teddy bear to cuddle? One of those Men In Black flashy things that make you forget everything you've just seen?

You might want one or two of these.

Brittle Stars. They're the creepiest and crawliest of all the bottom feeders. While Sea Cucumbers are the quintessential bottom feeder—the bottom feeder to whom all other bottom feeders doth their flabby hat—Brittle Stars have carved out their own niche, writhing in the sea sludge, each one a whole collection of harmless, meandering centipedes.

Harmless. Right.

Squid. Possibly the exact opposite of Brittle Stars. Here's one, spry and bright-eyed, scooting over a desert of rock and mud strewn with bushels of hydroids and Brittle Stars. Don't get too close little squid! Brittle Stars may be completely harmless, but you don't want to snag your soft, supple flesh on one of those spiny arms.

And then it turns out that Brittle Stars aren't harmless at all. They don't, in fact, confine themselves to bottom feeding. Do you watch open-mouthed as our tiny, wide-eyed squid jets over a field of writhing Brittle limbs? Do you scream as spindly arms unfurl like fleshless backbones? Do you weep as our poor squid is captured and dragged down into the thrashing mass to be torn apart by hungry, bony jaws.

Or do you just cuddle your teddy, hide behind your couch, and hope it all goes away? I wouldn't blame you.


Lear's Fool said...

ChrisM posted this on Echninoblog too and he was properly freaking out.

Brittle stars are WAY more vicious then I ever could have thought!

elfinelvin said...

Wow! This is one incredible video. Interesting that the second brittle star took the squid away from the first one. There's a lot more mayhem going on down there than folks realize. Thanks for sharing this.

Joseph JG said...

@Lear's Fool: Yes! He SHOULD freak out, what with it being freaky and all.

@elfinelvin: It looks like they do nothing at all for ages so that they have lots of energy stored up for an occasional food fight. You just have to be there to see it!

Unknown said...

I was at an ocean once and one of these suckers grabbed me. Terrifying