Monday, October 1, 2012
tiny camera captures internal view of a starfish eating a mussel
There are some really nice echinoderm videos out there, but this one featured at Deep Sea News is unique. The beginning of the video is dramatic enough, with an advancing front of starfish creeping up a mussel-encrusted pier piling. Notice how fluid the starfish look in the time lapse. Mutable collagenous tissue doing its thing! Then the predation begins. The starfish’s stomach should look somewhat familiar if you’ve ever interrupted a feeding starfish. But seeing it from the perspective inside a mussel shell is a thrilling novelty. Not really a “mussel’s eye view” as they have no eyes, but still! As the stomach slides in, you can see the mussel’s gills, the ctenidia, on the right. The slender, ciliated filaments that make up the gill show up as blurry striations in the foreground. On the left is the mussel’s mantle, the organ that lays down the shell. The dark orange gonad can be seen extending into the mantle tissue. It’s all just starfish food.