Feather Star (Rosy)
The Rosy Feather Star is an attractive feathery-looking sea creature that can be found in most waters around England, although it is rarely seen on the south-east coast. It can often be found in shallow waters, but it can also be seen in waters as deep as thirty metres where it normally clings onto rocks and seaweeds.
The Rosy Feather Star has ten pink-red feathery arms which are around five to ten centimetres in length. It uses its feathery arms to filter small particles of plankton from the water when it wants to feed. It has a tiny pink-red body with approximately twenty-five short root-like organs known as ‘cirri’. Cirri are used to grip onto surfaces. When the Rosy Feather Star wants to move to another position, it releases the grip of the cirri and beats its feathery arms up and down so it can swim to a new position. It can also crawl quite quickly by using its cirri.
A young Rosy Feather Star takes the form of a stalk for the first two or three months of its life. Its body grows on top of this stalk and when its ‘cirri’ finally grows, it breaks away from the stalk to find another place to attach itself to begin its adult life.