Spring is finally back, and with it a multitude of
Starfish, also known as sea stars by etymological purists, aren’t actually fish. How shocking, but this is the least disturbing fact on this list. Read further to learn how starfish may soon haunt your nightmares (and your daymares too).
1. The basics: Starfish are invertebrate carnivores who can live in the “wild” for up to 35 years. They can grow as large as 10 inches long and 11 pounds.
2. Brainless: Starfish possess neither brain nor blood. What nervous system they do have winds throughout their arms and acts as a filter.
3. No blood either: Instead of blood, Starfishes’ bodies contain filtered sea water pumped to a water vascular system.
4: Nope, not fish: Starfish live in water, but they don’t have fins, gills, or scales like real fish. They also don’t move through water like fish do. Starfish belong to the same family (echinoderm) as sand dollars and sea urchins. All members of the echinoderm family have five-point radial symmetry (or five sections) arranged around a central disk.
5. Inside-out stomachs: Starfish eat with their tummies inside out. They capture their prey by gripping it with their arms. Then the starfish will pry open their prey’s shells before — and this is gross — pushing the starfish stomach out of its mouth and into the shell. After digesting the animal, starfish will return their stomachs back into their own bodies.
6. Many-armed and varied species: Scientists counted over 2000 species of starfish throughout the world and in several different climates. Most of them have five arms, but some species can have up to 40 arms.
7. Regenerating limbs: Starfish can regenerate their lost limbs. The process of limb regeneration takes about a year to complete.
8. Starfish watch you: Their eyes exist, but they’re not positioned in the central body part. Instead, eye spots simply exist as dirty spots at the end of every starfish arm.
9. Protection from predators: Starfish are born with leathery, prickly armor. They also have a tough spot on their upper side, which is covered in calcium carbonite with tiny spikes.
10. How do they move? Starfish can only move with the help of their tube feet. These hundreds of tubes, which fill with ocean or sea water, are situated on the underside and form suction devices. Starfish are pretty speedy for such small creatures.
11. How to grow several starfish from one: Sometimes, the central body part is needed for limb regeneration. For some species, a whole new starfish can grow from one part of a severed arm.