Most of us see sea stars in shallow coastal waters—or as images of these colorful creatures. Basket stars are shy during the day and live in shallow and deep waters.
With the development of deep-sea submersibles, scientists have observed the elusive basket stars in all of the world’s oceans from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Like sea stars, basket stars have tube feet but their multiple-branching arms have tiny hooks to capture food in the water column. The many-branched arms can grow to three feet long. On coral reefs, basket stars hide during the day, but at night emerge and unfurl their many arms to feed. On submerged mountains, basket stars often perch on hard corals to catch food drifting by.