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You are here:   OldClasses > 2012 > Comanthus gisleni | Grace Stanton



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links

Living Fossil

Comanthus gisleni is an extant species of the most ancestral class, crinoidea, in the phylum Echinodermata. This species grows up to ~20cm in diameter, making them extremely conspicuous. Fortunately for this specie, nothing really preys upon it because of toxic mucus that it produces.

This specie is an extremely active nocturnal plankton predator. It utilises mucus and a sieve system to fish plankton of the water column. When dusk comes this Comanthus species utilises the mode of locomotion called "creeping" to take up a position suitable for feeding. 

Comanthus gisleni like all other crinoids have a community of creepy crawlies that live in symbiosis with them. Within the five crinoid specimens sampled decapods (shrimp), copepod, isopod and myzostomids, were found.

It might provided a specialised
habitat niche for other species but within its own habitat - coral rubble on reef flat and reef slope, Comanthus is  not a dominant species.