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Starfish


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Starfish at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre
Starfish
Starfish
Starfish
The starfish (commonly as a sea star) is generally found with 5 arms that are attached to a central disc. This central disc is the activity center of the starfish and also contains the mouth of the starfish.

The starfish feeds on oysters and clams, the 2 stomachs of the starfish helping with the digestion of complex organisms. The starfish uses one stomach to begin the digestion of the food, and the other stomach to expand outwards and engulf their prey. Starfish can be found in the oceans all around the world.

Due to the slow moving nature of the starfish, the starfish is preyed upon by many animal predators including fish, crabs, rays, sharks, humans and birds when the starfish are washed onto the shore.

The starfish has the incredible ability to regenerate itself into a new starfish, with a single lost arm attached to a portion of the central starfish body disc!

Starfish do not rely on a jointed, movable skeleton for support and movement (although starfish are still protected by their skeleton), but instead possess a hydraulic water vascular system that aids the starfish in movement.

The water vascular system of the starfish has many projections called tube feet on the ventral face of the starfish's arms which function in movement and aid with feeding.

Starfish can change their gender when it is convenient to them. The female starfish is capable is releasing over 2 million eggs at any one time, although the average amount of eggs that the female starfish releases is closer to 1 million. The eggs released by the female starfish are then fertilized by the male starfish and the fertilized eggs develop into larvae which are able to swim about. Starfish larvae swim for about three weeks before settling and beginning metamorphosis into the more common appearance of the starfish.

The starfish is today considered to be a threatened species of animal mainly due to habitat loss and pollution which are drastically reducing the starfish populations.


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Starfish Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Echinodermata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Asteroidea
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Protoreaster Nodosus
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Asteroidea
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Omnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
5-20cm (2-20in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
0.1-6kg (0.2-13lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
12.8km/h (8mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
3-27 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Threatened
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Rough
Favourite Food:Crustaceans
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Shallow to deeper coastal waters
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1,000,000
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Crustaceans, Worms, Sea Urchins
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Fish, Rays, Sharks
Special Features:Long arms and suckers on their feet

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There are more than 3,000 known species!