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Starfish …

This week we are concentrating on starfish. There is something about them that just seems to make people smile but they are also fascinating creatures.  There is something sweet about the fact that the alternative name for starfish is sea stars. Something we had never heard before we started to do some research into them.  It might be best to call them sea stars given their name is a misnomer given they are not fish at all!

Here are some interesting facts about starfish:

  • they are found in all the oceans of the world but they cannot live in freshwater.
  • They belong to a group of animas called echinoderms and there are more than 2,000 species.
  • We normally think of starfish as having five arms but there are some species with up to 40 arms. And they vary in size and weight with some weighing up to 11 pounds.
  • All starfish are radially symmetrical which means that regardless of how many arms they have their body can be divided into five equal pieces.
  • They are also able to regenerate … although not in the same way as Dr Who! If a starfish loses an arm for instance it will grow a new arm over a period of time, up to a year.
  • They don’t have a brain but they do have two stomachs!
  • They don’t have a blood system like other animals. The starfish pumps sea water through its sieve plate into its tube feet to extend them.
  • Starfish don’t see much detail but they can view movement and differentiate between light and dark using their microscopic eyes at the end of each arm.

Why not have a look at our collection of water based creatures … including our starfish watch?  Click here to see them.

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