Starfish is one of the most colorful and beautiful marine species that are found in Earth’s waters. They can be as colorful as they can be and come in various forms and sizes. But, without a doubt, they are easily the most recognizable marine creature because of their star-shaped bodies, and they can just be found in various coastal areas and shorelines.
With their distinct five arms and colorful body, these creatures are part of the echinoderms family. A family that relies on their tube feet to walk. So, if you are one of the people who are fond of these amazing creatures and want to learn some awesome starfish facts, then we’ve piled down some interesting facts you need to know.
Amazing Facts About Starfish
It may take some time to put up all the amazing starfish facts, but we will list down a few to help you out with your curiosity about these creatures.
Starfish Are Not Fish!
Although their name says otherwise, starfishes aren’t considered fishes. Although they primarily live underwater and in coastal areas, because they don’t have some of the features of what a fish should have, they don’t have gills, fins, or scales.
They also have a different way of propelling themselves, and fishes use their fins to propel themselves in the water, whereas starfishes use their tube feet to move around the ocean floor.
They Are Called Echinoderms
One of the starfish facts is that they belong to a diverse family called echinoderms. This means that they are related to some of the most distinct marine creatures such as sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sand dollars, and sea lilies. The echinoderm family consists of around 7,000 species.
Some of the species in the echinoderm family display radial symmetry in which they have a central axis where their body parts are arranged. This means that a starfish has a 5-point radial symmetry because of its five arms. Another distinct characteristic of echinoderms is that they have spines. However, the spines on starfishes aren’t as pronounced as the ones like sea urchins.
They Can Generate Their Arms
It is one of their most useful features as a starfish, and this can be handy as starfish are known as slow movers and can often be preyed upon by predators. Luckily, when their arms are cut, they can be salvaged as they can just regrow their arms after a few months or years. However, if the arm isn’t completely severed, it grows up identically to the original one.
They Have No Brains Nor Blood!
It seems crazy to think that starfishes have no brain and blood, but yeah, it is true. As a replacement for blood, seawater is pumped throughout their body. As a result, the seawater delivers its nutrients to various body parts, thus maintaining bodily functions.
This mechanism allows starfishes to thrive under seawater and not rely on blood to pump to their organs. Also, as they live in various waters worldwide, they can never run out of water!
Sea Stars Have Quite The Armor
If you happen to come across one, try touching them, and you could instantly feel how rigid or prickly their outer covering is. This is because their top covering comprises calcium carbonate plates that have tiny spines on top of it. These are important attributes to fend off would-be predators and for added protection as well. One of the infamous types of starfish is the crown of thorns known to destroy and damage various coral reefs worldwide.
Sea Stars Have Eyes Too!
Almost all people get surprised knowing sea stars have eyes. Yup, it’s true. They are anatomically there. However, it is not placed where you would find eyes typically. At the end of each arm is where the eyes are located. What this means is that they have five eyes located at each end of their arms. The same can be said about the 40-armed starfish, and they have 40 eyes as well.
Although they can’t be noticeable, they have eyes that appear like a red spot at the tip of their arm. It doesn’t seem that much but can make up for it with a good sense of light and dark, a perfect attribute for the environment they live in.
Unique Way To Multiply
Female and male sea stars are quite difficult to differentiate because they are as closely identified as possible. While almost all species have one way of reproducing by male and female reproduction, sea stars don’t reproduce that way. Instead, starfish reproduce by expelling sperm and eggs simultaneously into the water. After that, the sperm fertilizes the egg. As a result, it produces a larva that then swims off into the ocean floor and eventually grows into mature ones.
They Eat With Their Stomachs Out
One of the primary food sources of starfishes is bivalves like the clams and mussels and other types of small organisms such as fish and snails. A starfish’s mouth is at the bottom part of its body, facing right into the floor. When a starfish feeds on its prey, it wraps its arms around its food and slightly pulls the shell.
After that, the starfish then pushes its stomach onto the shell's inside, digests the food, and pushes it back to its stomach and onto its body. This type of feeding mechanism makes them one of the unique creatures on the planet, and it helps them devour bigger prey.
Starfish are one of a kind creatures. They have quite interesting starfish facts that will leave most people amazed and shocked at the same time. Marine species are certainly unique in their ways, and the starfish species is one of them. So, are you amazed at the awesome facts about starfish you need to know? So are we!
Lastly, starfish, just like any other marine creature, are still susceptible to various threats, so if we want them to last for hundreds or even thousands of years, we must properly conserve and protect them.
And by supporting us here at ATOLEA Jewelry, you are already part of a mission of conserving the Ocean as well as the marine life dwelling in it including the Starfish. Part of our profit from your purchases on our Ocean-inspired jewelry goes to Ocean conservation charities that aim to protect and preserve the Ocean.