Facts about Starfish (Sea Star)

Image courtesy of: http://community.mis.temple.edu/mis3538ayhuang/files/2011/04/starfish.jpg

Here are some fun facts about starfish/sea star that I have gathered:

Starfish typically have five or more arms.

Unlike fish, sea stars don’t have backbones. Instead, sea stars and their relatives have hard plates under their skin. Some of these hard plates have spines. That’s one reason a sea star is an echinoderm.

The sea star’s center is round. Arms grow out from the center—like spokes in a wheel. The body of an adult sea star has several nearly identical sections. It can be divided into similar pieces—like the slices of a pie.

A sea star’s spines are sharp. If eaten, they can make for a very painful meal. That’s why many predators avoid sea stars. Still, a few animals—such as king crabs, sea otters, and gulls—eat sea stars. Somehow, they seem to be able to handle the sea star’s spines and bony plates.

A sea star has no head. It has no brain either. But a sea star doesn’t need a brain to sense what is going on around it. Special cells on the sea star’s skin gather information about its surroundings.

There are some 2,000 species of sea star living in all the world’s oceans, from tropical habitats to the cold seafloor.


Diet: Carnivore

Average life span in the wild: Up to 35 years

Size: 4.7 to 9.4 in (12 to 24 cm)

Weight: Up to 11 lbs (5 kg)

For more information you can visit National Geographic and Animal Planet

Information courtesy of National Geographic and Animal Planet.


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