These creatures have some history. They date back to the Ordovician period between 485.4 and 443.8 million years ago. And they were abundant, as we know by the rich fossil records they left – many thick limestone beds from the mid- to late-Paleozoic are comprised of almost all bits of crinoids. But until the discovery of living ones, they were assumed extinct. Crinoids have the same interior system of canals ending in tube feet as the other echinoderms, as well as the same unusual ligament tissue that can alter between rigid and flaccid states, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). But unlike the other echinoderms, crinoids fasten their beautiful selves to the sea floor by way of their handy-dandy stalk. The species that keep their stalks are called sea lilies, as you can see in the photos directly below. The rest lose their stalks as they mature and can swim and float, attaching themselves to a set of small legs (called cirri); these are the feather stars.
Filmed and Edited by Istvan Zoboki