bat sea star

Bananananananana BAT STAR! 

In honor of Bat Appreciation Day today, we bring you the colorful bat of the sea – the bat star! Found in several of your national marine sanctuaries, bat stars may not be quite like the famed superhero Batman, but they do play an important ecological role. Bat stars help clean dead organisms and algae from the seafloor. 

What other “bats” of the sea can you think of? 

(Photo: Dwayne Meadows/NOAA, taken in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary)

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Field trip to Bodega Bay (1/26/14) Finale: My favorite pictures from the day

1) Bat Star and Pisaster right next to each other, with Pisaster’s tube feet visible. Pisaster was more prevalent where there more waves, since it mostly ate mussels, while the bat stars ate more algae, which grew with less waves, so it was cool to see them both right next to each other

2) Scyphozoan Jelly on the mudflats. The red spots are eyespots. We thought the fluffy tan things in the middle might be the oral arms retracted in for low tide. We also thought it (and all the others we found) were dead, but then we put them in a bucket and they were fine. (One thing I learned on this field trip was that cnidarians can in fact survive on the coast at low tides.)