Fig. 1 Top view of a Reticulated Sea Star (Oreaster), the bumpy upper side, 10" across. They are brownish in colour, up to 1 ft. across, and are active carnivores in the Thalassia. They are harmless to touch, young are mottled green.
Fig. 2 Bottom side of the same specimen showing the grooves that contain the small "tube feet" the animal uses for movement and breathing. The mouth is at the center.
Fig.3 Beaded Sea Star (Astropecten), is brown, purple or maroon. The larger one is seen from the top and shows the raised row of beads along the outer margin, about 3 1/2" across. The smaller one shows the under side. They are primarily nocturnal carnivores.
Fig. 4 A Goose Barnacle (Lepas) attached to a piece of styrofoam, specimen about 3/4" high. These are drifting (pelagic) forms and attach to almost anything that floats, including tar.
Fig. 5 A land dwelling tree snail photographed in a broadleaf forest northwest of San Pedro Lagoon at a small Mayan site on Ambergris Caye. Air breathing, they have a very light shell and feed on lichens. About 2" in the adult, they are mottled purples and mauves. Genus probably Orthalicus, they are protected in the Everglades National Park and one species is extinct in the Florida Keys. Hard to find in the dry season.
Fig-6 The Sea Egg or Sea Urchin (Lytechinus), about 3" across. When alive these are covered with short white spines. They are common in the Thalassia and often camouflage their shell with debris. The other more common urchin is Diadema, a black urchin seen on the reef, but in the Thalassia flats when spawn~.ng: A few years ago, a parasite killed off a lot of the Diadema population, but they are comming back.
Fig: 7 A shell of the Sea Pussy, Heart or Pincushion Urchin, 4" long. Note the distince grooves on the top of the shell. The brown animal is covered with short spines and when picked up secretes a yellowish stain. They burrow in the sandy areas foraging An organic material in the sand. The shell is spectacular when dry.