Oregon Coast Starfish
|Copyright: Lori Cannon (LCannon)
|Date Taken: 1988|
|Camera: Pentax K1000|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2005-01-10 22:59|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Even though many people call them starfish, these spiny tidepool residents aren't really fish at all. Sea stars don't have fins or scales or even a backbone. |
Phylum: Echinodermata (means spiky skin in Latin)
The mouth of a sea star is found in the centre of the underside of the sea star (called the oral surface). Several rows of tube feet run from the mouth down each arm of the sea star. These rows of tube feet are guarded by movable spines that line the edges of the arms for protection. The back side of sea stars can be smooth, spiny, or slimy.
Sea stars walk using their tube feet to move themselves along a surface. Their tube feet have suckers on the ends, which they use to attach themselves to rocks and to trap prey items.
Most sea stars are carnivores that feed on gastropods, barnacles, sea anemones, sea snails, sea urchins, bivalves (shellfish) and some times even crabs, dead fish, and other sea stars. Pretty much any animal they can get their feet on! Instead of their food into their mouth as we do, sea stars instead flip their stomachs out through their mouth and digest their prey from the inside out. When the animal is completely digested the stomach is pulled back into the sea star's body.
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