It’s a sea star, not a starfish!

Knobby sea stars

A lot has changed in the last thirty years and that includes the starfish. For those of you out of the loop, the starfish is no longer a starfish, it’s a sea star. Why is that? Because a sea star is not a type of fish, it’s an echinoderm. Echinoderms are members of the phylum Echinodermata, which also includes brittle stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sand dollars.

There are many cool things to discuss when it comes to sea stars, the most famous being their ability to regenerate limbs. Most, but not all, sea stars have five arms and if some tragic ocean accident should occur, well c’est la vie! The sea star will just grow a new one. This magical healing trait is linked to having most of their vital organs located in their arms. Some sea stars are even able to grow an entire body back from just one arm.

What’s the moral of the story from this post? Never try to get rid of sea stars by chopping off their arms, first it won’t work and second in some cases you may end up with even more sea stars. (Not that you should ever want to get rid of sea stars, they do play an important role in the ocean ecosystem.) Stay tuned for more crazy sea star facts, this is just the beginning.

Comments

  1. JNapoli says

    Yikes, I have been spending all this time thinking they were star fish. Once again, Wild Things keeps me on the cutting edge. And they can grow back their arms? How very James Cameron.

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