Fell, Howard B. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:April 2016
Show previous versions
- Muscular system
- Alimentary system
- Water-vascular system
- Nervous system
- Relation to humans
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A class of the subphylum Asterozoa (phylum Echinodermata), comprising the brittle stars and basket stars, in which the arms are usually clearly demarcated from a central disk and perform whiplike locomotor movements, and the tube feet are nonsuctorial sensory tentacles. In all existing species of the class Ophiuroidea, the ambulacral plates fuse together in pairs to form articulating joints, termed vertebrae, and the ambulacral groove is converted into an internal epineural canal. Typical ophiuroids have a distinctive shape (Fig. 1), unlike that of other asterozoans in the class Asteroidea, and the vigorous lashing movements of the arms distinguish them from asteroids. However, fossil ophiuroids are known that approach asteroids in structure, and the two groups are evidently closely related. See also: Asteroidea; Echinodermata; Fossil
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information