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Brittle star

released mouth arms

Brittle star, marine invertebrate (class Ophiuroidea), 5-armed relative of starfish found in seas all over the world. The button-shaped body grows up to 2 in (5 cm), and the flexible arms, which break off readily but are regrown, grow to 2 ft (60 cm). Brittle stars feed by trapping minute particles in mucus on the arms and passing them to the mouth on the underside of the disk, or by holding animals or carrion in an arm and pushing them into the mouth. Eggs are fertilized after being released into the sea or retained in the female, where larval development takes place, the young being released as small adults.

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