Researchers are studying feather star ecology in the Philippines, including the unique ways infestor species have adapted to their hosts. Feather stars are an ancient species of marine invertebrate. Some species are mobile when seeking food or escaping predators, but most spend their time perched on surfaces.
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One focus of the researchers’ study is infestors—animals that live on feather stars and feed on their waste. Infestors can mimic the feather stars’ colors and patterns very closely. According to researcher Angela Stevenson, feather stars may be “providing inhabitants with everything they desire in a safe haven.”
To learn more about this research project, go to National Geographic’s Open Explorer.
Read more in “In a World of Warming Seas, Feather Stars Might be Winners”
Feather Stars and Their Animal Invaders | Nat Geo Wild
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