UK Seas

Discover the wonderful sea creatures that inhabit the UK seas and shores

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UK seas is a guide to the fauna and flora found around UK coasts. While the majority of species are marine, some species are included that are regularly encountered on land by the coast, so you’ll find descriptions of non-marine species such as reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants as well.


Common brittlestar

Ophiothrix fragilis

Type

Echinoderms

Description

Brittlestars have five very thin arms, which break easily if handled. At each arm joint there are also small spines, giving it a decidedly spiky look.

May form aggregations as dense as 1500 per square metre on the seabed, with arms raised to catch suspended plankton food.

Location

Usually found in deepwater, but these and similar relatives can be found under boulders amongst sand, and in pools on many beaches.

Habitat

Subtidal, Seabed, Rock pools

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