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Features and lifestyle of sea lilies

Crinoids from ancient Greek are translated as “similar to lilies.” These inhabitants of the ocean are otherwise called sea lilies. In shape, they resemble a flower and are unique in their bright color.

Crinoids are not plants, but animals that perfectly exist with corals and algae. Attaching to rocks and reefs, they can also live in water bodies, being their original decoration.

The most important thing is to maintain the desired salinity of the water.

Crinoids belong to the class of echinoderms (type of marine animals)

Habitat for common lilies is the ocean. Possessing external splendor, these aquatic inhabitants feed on all living things – plankton, small crustaceans.

Like sea urchins and stars, they belong to the class of echinoderms. For all their types is typical:

  1. The structure in the form of a five-beam symmetry of the body.
  2. Ability to live at any depth.
  3. The body has a cup with rays radiating from it. With the help of the calyx, the animal attaches to any surface, and the rays filter everything living in water and put it in the mouth, which is located in the center of the calyx. Also with the help of smooth movements the animal moves in the water. In total, the crinoid has five rays up to 1 meter long. Scions can depart from them. The rays have a skeleton and well developed muscles, which helps them to be flexible and mobile.

Crinoids have the ability to quickly restore broken rays.

  • A common occurrence in crinoids is the breaking of rays. This is influenced by adverse factors: lack of oxygen, the attack of enemies, a sharp decrease in temperature. After some time, these rays are easily and quickly restored.
  • Appearance is no different from the ancestors.
  • They move in various ways: they swim with the help of rays, crawl along the bottom of the ocean, or walk on legs-cirros.
  • They are found both in countries with a tropical climate and in the cold Antarctic.
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    Appearing 488 million years ago, the crinoids settled the ocean. The Paleozoic period is considered their golden age.

    At that time there were about 5,000 species of sea lilies, many of which have not survived to this day. Only species that appeared on the planet 250 million years ago have survived to this day. The crinoids have enemies.

    Predatory mollusks love to feast on the soft flesh of the calyx, drilling it with proboscis. Small crustaceans also cause damage to crinoids by settling in the circus or in the digestive system. There are 2 classes of sea lilies:

    • stalked (they have a stalk, with its help they are attached to a substrate, they rarely move, they can be in one place all their life, they live at any depth);
    • stemless (without a stem, due to which they are more mobile, are constantly in motion, but can live only at a depth of 200 meters).

    Thus, the lifestyle of cochlea can be both active and passive.

    In our time, there are approximately 700 types of crinoids. All of them lead a sedentary lifestyle at different depths and periodically move.

    Food is carried out at night, and in the daytime the crinoids are masked in reefs and under rocks.

    The crinoids feed on algae, the larvae of small crayfish, mollusks, thus being a kind of filter feeder.

    With their rays, these animals catch small animals in the water. The grooves on the inner side of the rays have glandular cells from which mucus is secreted.

    Everything caught from the water is enveloped in mucus and turns into lumps of food.. How much food will a sea lily catch and consume per day, depends on its size and length of the rays.

    Crinoids septum. Breeding features of sea lilies are that males produce sperm and females produce eggs for fertilization. The eggs released by the female are fertilized right in the water.

    Then they turn into a barrel-shaped larva. New individuals appear within 2-3 days.

    Sit on the ground, they are fixed in it, grow, lengthen and change. Over time, they appear calyx, oral cavity and stalk.

    Sea lilies in 2-3 days are able to produce new offspring

    The stalked and stemless members of the class develop in different ways. In a stemless calyx, after a month and a half, it breaks off the stem and swims to conquer oceanic expanses.

    In stalked representatives, the stem eventually stretches in length and overgrown with cirres.

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