Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A family of extant free-swimming crinoids, of the class Crinoidea, typified by the genus Comatula; the feather-stars or hair-stars. They are stalked and fixed only when young, and the larva is free and vermiform, with four ciliated zones and a tuft of cilia at the aboral end of the body. In the adult state they have a mouth and an anus, and usually ten cirrous arms, which they have the power of lashing toward the ventral surface, so as to propel themselves, as well as to bring food within their grasp. Representatives of the family are found in most seas.
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