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Brittle stars and their best friends the octocorals

A healthy, deep sea octocoral and their brittle star partners
Fanny Girard

A healthy octocoral (Paramuricea biscaya) will host many brittle stars (Asteroschema ) clavigerumand even a few anemones. The brittle stars and the corals live in the Gulf of Mexico in a symbiotic relationship. The brittle stars use the branches of the coral to gain easy access to drifting food particles and the corals are helped by the stars in the event of an oil spill.