Phylum Echinodermata - seastars, urchins, brittlestars, seacucumbers
There are about 7,000 living and 13,000 extinct species of echinoderms. Five or six classes (six counting Concentricycloidea) are alive (extant) today. They are characterised by having radially symmetrical bodies, often covered with spines and tube feet, and internal skeletons. Te Papa’s collection of echinoderms comprises about 12,000 specimen lots, and includes more than fifty name-bearing types. The collection is strong in starfishes and brittle stars, especially deep-sea species from sunken wood.