The fossilized remains of the starfish show it dates back as far as 570 million years ago; however it wasn’t until 1705 that it was first recorded. At this times not much was known about the starfish, except it looked like a fish and lived in the sea. Today, we have learned more about this amazing creature, like it actually isn’t a fish. The starfish is an echinoderm, which is more closely related to the sand dollar and sea urchin. Because of this discovery scientists have changed their name to “sea stars.”
There is around 2,000 species of sea stars and they can be found in saltwater or brackish waters all over the world. They like the warm tropical waters as well as the cooler sea floor. In these waters the sea star will make its home among the coral reefs, kelp beds, rocky shores, sea grass and tidal pools. Some sea stars have also been known to live in the sand as deep as 20,530 feet (9,000 meters)
Sea stars don’t have a brain, nor any blood. What courses through their arms and nervous system is actually filtered sea water. In addition, the sea star eats in a very unique way – its sack-like stomach comes out of its mouth and enters its prey. This creature uses the suction cups on the bottom of its arms to crawl over to its favorite food of clams and oysters. Once there the stomach-sack emerges from within the sea star and works its way inside of its prey’s shell. Once inside it will consume the fleshy part then withdraw and slip back into the sea star.
All About Starfish
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