The starfish is a member of the huge group of marine organisms known as echinoderms. They are present in all of the world’s oceans. The Indian and Pacific oceans are home to the largest starfish populations. Starfish (a.k.a. sea stars) are often found in shallow water. There are around 2000 different species of starfish, and none of them can thrive in freshwater.
Interesting Starfish Facts:
1. Although they are called “starfish,” they have little resemblance to fish. Starfish are classified as marine invertebrates, along with sea urchin, sea cucumber, and sand dollar.
2. Because of their star-like form, they are sometimes known as starfish or sea stars. While the majority of sea stars have five arms, some have 10, twenty, or even forty. The term “sun star” refers to a sea star with forty arms.
3. Starfish come in a variety of sizes. They are typically five to ten inches long and weigh up to eleven pounds.
4. All starfish have a radially symmetrical body. That is, their bodies may be split into five equal halves (even if there more than five arms).
5. Another remarkable feature of the starfish is their capacity to regrow various (lost) body parts. If a predator consumes a portion of the starfish, the remaining portion (one arm, for example) will acquire missing limbs and eventually revert to its original appearance. This is not always a quick procedure and may take up to a year.
6. Starfish are carnivores that like shells, clams, and mussels. It is equipped with two stomachs, one of which may be pushed outside when eating. This strategy enables them to consume huge prey (that they cannot swallow using their small mouth).
7. The mouth of the starfish is placed on the underside of its body. Anus is positioned on the body’s upper side.
8. Starfish are propelled forward by their tube feet, which are made up of hundreds of projections on the bottom of their bodies. They are employed for walking and prey capture.
9. Starfish lack a brain. Additionally, they lack blood in comparison to other animals. Sea water, not blood, passes through their bodies through a sieve plate.
10. The starfish’s body is coated with a bony skeleton that often comprises a variety of spikes and thorns. They provide strong defense against predators.
11. Sea otters, sharks, rays, seagulls, and many species of fish are all common predators of starfish.
12. Starfish may reproduce sexually (by merging male and female reproductive cells) or asexually. The asexual reproduction involves dividing the body at the center followed by regenerating the missing part.
13. Females and males release millions of eggs and sperm into the sea during sexual reproduction, where they combine to produce a fertilized egg that grows into a new starfish. Females are capable of simultaneously generating millions of eggs. This is critical since only a tiny percentage of eggs hatch into adult starfish.
14. Although starfish are not hermaphrodites (animals that exhibit traits of both sexes), they are capable of changing their gender at any point throughout their lives.
15. Starfish may live in the wild for up to 35 years.