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Sunflower Seastar

Sunflower Seastar
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-02
Categories: Echinoderms
Camera: Canon Powershot S1-IS
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Underwater World, Dressed in Pink, Underwater Wonder World 2, My Purple Obsession 1, under and above the seas and lakes [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-05-27 3:32
Viewed: 27467
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this picture at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz, California.

Sunflower star
Pycnopodia helianthoides

An array of 24 arms distinguishes this magnificent sunflower star from other sea stars. Soft skin in colors ranging from purple to brown, orange or yellow adds to its beauty.

For a sea star, this animal is a voracious predator. When on the prowl for food, the sunflower star swings along on its 15,000 tube feet—moving at the remarkable speed, for a sea star, of over 40 inches (1 m) per minute.

The sunstar's prey use a variety of escape tactics to avoid being trapped by the Pycnopodia’s tube feet. Snails and abalones violently twist their shells to loosen the star’s powerful grip; cockles lower their strong foot and pole-vault away; California sea cucumbers, usually sedentary, slither out of the way; and sea urchins flee. Both red and purple sea urchins deploy their pedicellariae (pinchers) to nibble on the star’s tube feet. The purple urchin seldom escapes, however the red sea urchin has another defense—long spines, which usually ensure its escape.

Species Information:
Diet: crabs, sea cucumbers, snails, chitons, sea urchins, dead or dying squid and other sea stars 
Size: to 39 inches (1 m) from armtip to armtip 
Range: low intertidal and subtidal zones from Alaska to San Diego 
Relatives: other sea stars, brittle stars, urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers; Phylum: Echinodermata 
Cool facts
Juvenile sunflower stars start life with five arms—by maturity they sport up to 24 arms.
Most sea stars have a one-piece, semirigid skeleton. However, the sunflower star’s skeleton has a few disconnected pieces. They allow the sunstar's mouth to open wide and its body to enlarge and take in big prey. A sunflower star can swallow an entire sea urchin, digest it internally and then expel the urchin’s test—its external shell.
In Monterey Bay, the sunflower star eats—in season—dead or dying squid. After the star digests the squid, the indigestible squid pen—its internal shell, which is too large to be defecated—works its way through the body wall. 


TAZ, coasties, liquidsunshine, marhowie, Luc, extramundi, dantor, mario-roberto, PDP, Hoos, xramm, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
The Sea and Sea Shoresingridshaul 1 08-09 06:51
To PDP: Artifactmanyee 1 08-06 15:11
To dantor: Hello : )manyee 3 09-26 01:24
To marjan: Yes, it is real.: )manyee 1 06-03 02:45
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joan (373)
  • [2005-05-27 3:48]

Una bella imágen con un alto c0ntenido pictorico y un original encuadre. Saludos. Joan

What a fantastic shot Manyee. This is extremely well composed. All the colours compliment each other. Wonderful. Thanks

Wonderful shot Manyee,
Fantastic composition. Superb colours and details. This is a simple shot with really effective results.
This is simply amazing, thanks for posting.
Have a great weekend Manyee.

Nice shot Manyee! Great bold color against the black stands out nicely. Interesting creature and a very good note, Well done!

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-05-28 9:24]

Une bellle "seastar" bien mise en valeur par cette composition aquatique de qualité. Jolies couleurs, bon point de vue et bonne netteté.
Pretty "seastar" in a great shot !!!

Very beaytiful shot, Manyee.
Great colours, well composed and good details.
The exposure are great.
A very good work.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-05-29 22:02]

Hello Manyee.
Personal assessment of the photo: great.
Very strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you very much for sharing.

Wonderfull image Manyee, you did a great portrait i like the composition the colours & sharpness, Amazing shot !


it is like a glas star. Is it real?
very good job with this photo. Bravo

This is a savage composition :D...stronger is imposible. Crazy shapes, surprising colours, and great details too. Really "extramundi", I liked a lot. Thanks.

Amazing shot, even more so when I assume that you were on the other side of the tank glass when you took it. Smile! Lots of detail. Wonderful contrasting colours, shapes and textures. My list of favourite TN pics is growing. Well done, Manyee.

  • Great 
  • rimas Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 157 W: 3 N: 667] (5094)
  • [2005-10-31 9:52]

Great colors and details. The image is sharp and composition is good.
This an absolute beauty.
Thanks for posting

WOW Manyee!

This is one of those photographs that I could look at every day! The colors and textures are amazing! DOF and POV are classic! Well done!

Hi Manyee. Excellent picture. Very good composition, colours and details. Very good work. :-)

a well portrait of a blue sun

  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-08-06 13:40]
  • [+]

Hello Manyee, I missed this one the first time around. It's a great shot of a very colorful and interesting organism. Lovely details and well done on the exposure. There does seem to be some artifact around the arms - I don't know what that is. I don't have any other real nits but I would suggest putting the starfish bang in the centre of the frame. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • Hoos Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 19 W: 0 N: 20] (111)
  • [2006-11-15 22:54]

Great colors!! And the details are great! well done!!

Amazing, no words enough to express what I think. Not only a beautiful animal, beautiful photo as well. Hope some day you get some award for this hehe

  • Great 
  • xramm (37)
  • [2007-08-09 2:15]

Hı Manyee

I lıke every underwater photos.This is unbelievable good picture of this starfish.

Hallo Manyee
Me and my purple again. I just dug out this purple coloured Sunflower Sea star from way back in your portfolio. What a beautiful sea animal, in different shades of purple. Truly stunning. Details are sharp and focus spot-on. I love the golden colour of the ground cover in the tank. Old photo for you but fresh and new and off course gorgeous for me.
Kind regards

amazing creature and amazing pic, TFS Ori

Dear Manyee
I discovered this beauty, when trawling TrekNature for contribution to my new theme.

Your photo is REALLY STUNNING! And so thought 12792 other viewers!!

I always considered the sea in the Maldives to be the ''Eden'' of the sea world and you have shown me to be wrong.

Your photo is absolutely faultless - with no reflection from the glass - did you use a flash?

The colour is vibrant and the image leaving me breathless.

Have a nice day and a good week,
Kind Regards

Hi Manyee

A stunning Sea Star. Even in the Maldives nothing like it.



Dear Manyee,
Superb photo photo taken in an aquarium! The colours are luminous and the sharp details a pleasure to view.

Very interesting notes, and I add your work to my theme "under and above the seas and lakes".

Thanks for sharing.
Warm greetings from the Tzaneen Dam in Limpopo, South Africa

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