Strange sea creature caught at Sentosa may be a rare basket star

Strange sea creature caught at Sentosa may be a rare basket star

SINGAPORE - A strange sea creature that angler Ramlan Saim caught at Sentosa Island is most likely to be a basket star, say experts.

It is a rare relative of the more common starfish (sea star), but can be distinguished because of its long, thin gangly arms.

Mr Saim's facebook video of the creature subsequently went viral, gaining popularity worldwide.

Many experts on the subject matter have since stepped forth to identify and explain about the little-known basket star.

According to IFL Science, it belongs to the phylum echinoderm, which makes it related to other radially symmetrical marine animals like sea stars, sand dollars, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers.

More specifically, basket stars are brittle stars, which are set apart from other sea stars by their comparatively thin, gangly arms. Basket stars typically live in the deep sea, as deep as 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) below the surface.

While basket stars start out with five main arms connected to a central disc, smaller appendages grow over time in fractal patterns. Altogether, the diameter of their arms can reach up to 70 centimeters (27.5 inches).

All of these arms help the basket star collect bits of food floating in the water.

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