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Sea pen and brittle star

Sea pens are relatives of corals and sea anemones. They anchor themselves in seafloor sediment with a fleshy bulb, their feathery plumes extending up into the water column to capture tiny animals and particles that drift past. A brittle star has climbed up this sea pen and is waving its arms in the current to capture these same particles. A second brittle star can be seen clambering up the the lower part of the sea pen. These animals were photographed about 1,650 meters (one mile) below the sea surface in Monterey Canyon.

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