Scientists discover new alien-like species with 20 'arms' at near Antarctica

A team of researchers have discovered a new species while trawling the ocean near Antarctica, and at first, it appears alien-like.

1 minute & 18 seconds read time

A group of scientists have discovered a new species that certainly appears to be alien-like but is named after a fruit.

Antarctic strawberry feather star, Promachocrinus fragarius

Antarctic strawberry feather star, Promachocrinus fragarius

The new species is officially called Promachocrinus fragarius, or the Antarctic strawberry feather star, and it was discovered by researchers trawling the ocean near Antarctica. According to the newly published study in Invertebrate Systematics, the creature was named after a strawberry for how its body resembles the fruit, and after dragging a net along the Southern Ocean, the team discovered four new species that all fall under the group Promachocrinus kerguelensis, which then falls under the overall classification Crinoidea.

Other members of the Crinoidea classification are common sea life, such as starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. As for the Antarctic strawberry feather star, researchers determined that it has more "arms" than other feather stars, which typically have 10. The Antarctic strawberry feather star has 20. The study notes that the Antarctic strawberry feather star can be found between 215 feet and 3,840 feet below the ocean surface.

"So we went from one species with 20 arms to now eight species - six with 20 arms and two with 10 arms under the name Promachocrinus," Rouse said.

Antarctic strawberry feather star, Promachocrinus fragarius

Antarctic strawberry feather star, Promachocrinus fragarius

It should be noted how common finding new sea life species are, with Greg Rouse, a marine biology professor at the University of California, San Diego and co-author of the paper, saying the Scripps Institution of Oceanography adds up to 10 to 15 species a year.

"We find many species. The problem is the amount of work that goes into actually naming them," said Rouse.

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