Our most popular post from our Blogger days did not fair so well in the migration to SB and Movable Type. I am reposting it here now for posterity.
A relative of the starfish, crinoids are neither abundant nor well understood. Also known as “sea lilies” or “feather stars” the strange creatures consist of a mouthpart, feeding arms and generally have a stem that connects them to the sea floor. Scientists have long known that crinoids were capable of moving themselves, albeit at a very slow pace, to outmaneuver predators such as sea urchins. Their fastest speed had been clocked at .6 meters per hour, which means their entire existence is probably a lot like one of those dreams where you are being chased by something but can only move in slow-motion. However, researchers viewing the sea floor in a submersible off Grand Bahama recorded astonishing footage of a stemmed crinoid practically galloping along the ocean floor.
Insert Chariots of Fire theme here
Sea-lily or feather-star, Neocrinus decorus, in normal feeding posture. Longer and grainier version of the video.