One strong feather star Q A
JOHAN VISSER from Somerset West writes: I found this sea creature on the beach at Struisbaai. It was lying very still, but when I approached it moved away. Is it a starfish?
Marine expert GEORGINA JONES says: This is a feather star, which belongs to the same group as starfish. Interesting that it walked on land – I’ve never seen that before! Occasionally we see feather stars swimming underwater using their arms – but only to move from perch to perch. They tend to stay in one place and wave their arms through the water to catch plankton. I’m surprised that its arms were strong enough to bear its weight – those arms are good for catching food and the occasional (short) swim, but beach walking is very unusual!