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Starfish Have to Eat Too
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019. Download larger version (mp4, 82.4 MB).

This was a species described by Chris Mah in 2010, and which was originally collected by Martha Nizinski, a NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service biologist who works on coral and their related faunas. The description was based on three museum specimens. Prior to Dive 08 of the Windows to the Deep 2019 expedition, Chris had never seen it alive.

This species was hypothesized to be a coral predator when Chris described it, based on fragments found in its gut, but now we have solid evidence of this species feeding on a primnoid octocoral! This was the FIRST time it’s been seen alive!

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