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Episode 601: Living Fossils

In the deep, dark waters off the coast of Roatan, Honduras, strange flowerlike animals flourish. These sea lilies and feather stars, known as crinoids, have been around in various forms since before the age of dinosaurs. Experts from Nova Southeastern University and the University of Michigan are working together to gather basic information about the life history of crinoids, such as how long they live and how fast they grow. To gain access to the animals, they brave the ocean depths onboard “Idabel”, a submersible based in Roatan’s West End. Sub builder and pilot Karl Stanley has extensive knowledge of the areas he can access with “Idabel,” making it possible for the scientists to return to the same spots year after year to study the animals. This ability to study crinoids over an extended time period will result in new knowledge about these mysterious animals that flourish far removed from our human world.


Meet the experts featured in this episode.

Special Thanks:


Cocolobo at Seagrape Plantation
West End, Roatan, Honduras
+(504) 9898-4510


Tranquilseas Eco Lodge
and Dive Center
Carretera Principal, Sandy Bay 33166
Roatan, Honduras
+(504) 2407-2070

Image Credits

Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:

Tomasz Baumiller

David Bowden/ LINZ-NIWA

Julia Margaret Cameron

Detroit Publishing Company

Forest Gahn

Freshwater and Marine Image Bank

William Herdman

Geo Hirst
S.C. Services
Las Vegas, Nevada

Joseph Koniecki

Library of Congress

Charles Messing

William Frederick Mitchell

Ken Moehn

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

National Library of Medicine


Oslo Museum image no. OB.F03334D

Michael Sars

Karl Stanley

Wikipedia author: Ghedoghedo

H. Zell

Special Thanks:

Mario Aguirre
Honduras Tourism Board

Web Extras

Various Types of Crinoids

Funding for this episode of Changing Seas was provided by: