Feather stars belong to the „Echinodermata“ like sea stars, brittle stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. They are one of the most visible members of the reef community. Feather stars are abundant in areas with strong currents, which provides an abundant supply of planktonic food.
They use special appendages called cirri on the underside of the body to cling to the bottom. They are frequently perched on sponges and tall coral heads in order to get maximum exposure to the passing current. They use the cirri for crawling over the reef and can actually swim by flapping the feathery arms.
Feather stars have skin toxins which serve as a deterrent. The bright colors displayed by many feather stars signal distasteful qualities. Primarily nocturnal in habit, it is not unusual to see them in daytime. They are opportunistic; feeding when currents are optimum.