Brittle stars are closely related to sea stars. There are more than 2,000 species worldwide, and they’re typically found in shallow reef environments, hiding under coral and between other living organisms.
They crawl on the seafloor using their flexible arms for locomotion with their five long slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 2 feet in length, also known as serpent stars.
Brittle Stars generally mature in 2 years, are full grown in 3 – 4 years, and live up to 5 years. A few other species may well live much longer.
Brittle stars are not used as food even though they are non-toxic.
They can readily regenerate lost arms unless all arms are lost; they use this ability to escape predators, similar to how lizards deliberately shed the distal part of their tails to confuse pursuers.
I wouldn’t say these are among my top 100 fav’s; like most everything esle you see down there, it’s pretty darn fascinating!