There are many species of brittle stars and one common species of basket star Gorgonocephalus eucnemis on the west coast of North America.  Gorgonocephalus lives deeper in southern Oregon and California than in northern locations from Washington to Alaska. In the southern parts of British Columbia basket stars can be seen at 10-15m depth. The descriptor basket refers to their behaviour of pulling in their arborescent arms into a tight bundle, giving the appearance of a woven basket.  This happens when disturbed and sometimes during the daytime, for at other times the arms are spread wide for feeding.

NOTE  so named because of their propensity to drop arms when disturbed or under duress

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ANIMATION of snail meeting BASKET STAR
© 2010 Thomas Carefoot

To learn about west-coast BASKET & BRITTLE STARS: select a topic from the basket-star menu at the top of the page

OR: play the ANIMATION of the snail meeting the BASKET STAR

OR, if you want to see other animations: follow the snail on its ODYSSEY by CLICKING on any X-marked invertebrate on the map

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Phylum Echinodermata (lit. “spiny skin” G.) including sea lilies, sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and brittle stars

Class Ophiuroidea (lit. “like a serpent or snake” G.), including basket and brittle stars

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