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February 18

Echinaster sepositus

Echinaster sepositus, also known as the Mediterranean red sea star, is a species of starfish in the Echinasteridae family. It is found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, including the Mediterranean Sea and the French side of the English Channel, at depths of up to 250 m (820 ft). It has a wide range of habitats including rocky, sandy and muddy bottoms, and sea-grass meadows formed of Posidonia oceanica and Zostera. E. sepositus has five relatively slender arms, with a diameter of up to 20 cm, or occasionally as much as 30 cm. It is a bright orange-red in colour with a soapy surface texture and a surface dotted with evenly spaced pits from which the animal can extend its deep red gills (papula). This E. sepositus individual was photographed in the Atlantic Ocean in the Arrábida Natural Park, Portugal.

Photograph credit: Diego Delso

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