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Tiny 1/2" star fish hiding inside rock (macro) - Dwarf Brittle Star

This little beastie was in the live rock (mostly coral fossil) we put into the salt water tank we're setting up.

 

He's got a pentagonal (5-sided) body and five tentacles, three of which you can see here, two out of one hole and one out of the other. I've seen him out of this hiding spot exactly once in about three hours; he's very fast. I was under the impression that starfish as a group were slow creatures; perhaps so, but not this one.

 

This is a clip from a larger image taken with an Olympus E-20 in macro mode. Darned camera won't stay in macro mode if I have the LCD preview on; bizarre. Likewise, it won't stay in macro mode unless it is in autofocus, and since the E20's autofocus is of extremely poor quality, this resulted in considerable frustration. But eventually I got this shot. Time to buy a Canon. :-)

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Taken on September 6, 2007