Starfish or Sea Star?

Feb 10, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

Did you know that a starfish is really not a fish?

Many may call a sea star a starfish, however the sea stars do not have scales or swim so they are not technically a fish and the proper name is sea star.

There are more than 2,000 different types of sea stars in the world. Most of them only have five arms, but others have as many as 40 arms. The Sunflower sea star is one of the largest kinds of sea stars with 24 arms that can grow up to 40 inches from arm to tip.

One of the weirdest things about these echinoderms, is how they eat. A sea star will wrap its arms around its prey, usually a muscle or clam and they will pull the shell open just enough to put its own stomach through its mouth and into the shell. After digesting the animal, the sea star oddly slides its stomach back into its own body!

Another unusual thing about sea stars is that they have an eye at the end of each arm. The sea star doesn’t actually have a brain to tell it what it’s seeing. Instead, the nerves run from its mouth to its eyes and sensors and many of its tube-like feet find food. The sea star is perfectly designed to move and eat and do all that it needs to do to live in the ocean.


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