OPHIUTROIDS are known1,2 to eat a wide range of food, including phytoplankton, zooplankton, polychaetes and detritus; carrion-eating can now be added to the list, for it has recently been observed in this laboratory on the part of Ophiocomina nigra (Abild.), Ophiothrix fragilis(Abild.), Ophiura texturata Lam. and O. abilda Forbes. In aquaria these brittle-stars were seen to eat on one occasion a dead lesser weever (Trachinus viper C. and V.), and on another a small dead cephalopod (Sepiola atlantica d'Orb.). Each ophiuroid's stomach was scarcely everted at all while feeding, but the long tube-feet round the mouth made strong tugging movements, breaking off small pieces from the prey which were later found in the ophiuroid's stomach.
Taylor, A. M., M.Sc. University of Liverpool (1958).
Hardy, A. C., “The Open Sea: II, Fish and Fihseries” (London, Collins, 1959).
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NAGABHUSHANAM, A., COLMAN, J. Carrion-Eating by Ophiuroids. Nature 184, 285 (1959). https://doi.org/10.1038/184285a0
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