site.btaDay 71: Polar Explorers Catch Starfish with 40 Rays
Shortly before the Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii left the south bay of Livingston Island on the eve of March 5, the crew was fishing for research purposes, when they caught a curious creature - an Antarctic sun starfish (labidiaster annulatus). The specimen was an adult with 40 rays and a span of over 50 cm.
One of the members of the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition, microbiologist Assoc. Prof. Petya Orozova, told BTA that the Antarctic sun starfish is a typical representative of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean marine fauna. It can be found in depths of 30 to 400 metres. It feeds on amphipods, small fish, plankton, and krill.
By the end of its life, the Antarctic sun starfish can grow up to 50 rays and reach a size of 60-70 cm in diameter. With a few of its rays, the creature attaches itself to rocks or coral on the seabed, and the remaining rays float freely in the water to hunt for food.
BTA's Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov is the only member of the media who is travelling on board the ship to Livingston Island and back and covering the Bulgarian expedition throughout its stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log for free.