The Starfish

Topics: Starfish, Animal, Fish Pages: 2 (538 words) Published: July 28, 2011
The asteroid, more commonly known as the starfish, or sea star, is an invertebrate that lives mainly in an oceanic environment. These unique and unusual creatures have a number of arms that protrude away from their spiny skinned bodies. The exact number of arms depends on the species; some have only three, and the most is 42. Most people commonly associate the starfish with having five arms. However, there are many species of starfish that have 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 arms. Each arm that extends out of the "body" is covered on the bottom by many tube-like feet. These feet help convey the starfish but taking water in and the pumping it out, therefore enabling it to move. When the water is pumped, the feet extend and contract. The pumping of the water is implemented by a complex structure of internal valves that use hydraulic pressure. The tube feet help the starfish in feeding, as well as locomotion. Most species of starfish eat a variety of foods, some being meat, and others plants, therefore making it an omnivore. Its diet includes plankton, coral, and oysters. The larger species tend to eat birds, predominantly the sea gull. The starfish will catch the bird while it is searching for fish to feed on and then proceed to drown it. It then eats and digests its prey. These large starfish also tend to feed on sea urchins, fish, and crabs. This makes the larger species carnivores, as opposed to omnivores. Even though the starfish has the ability to regenerate body limbs that have been torn away from their body, if any internal tissue is even slightly damage, the creature will most likely die. Other than this limitation, the starfish is subject to immortality. The starfish can vary in color, from the bright and vivid designs of the tropical species, to the dull oranges and yellows of the deep-ocean dwellers. Blue, red, and green are very common colors that appear on the star. The sea star has to practices of reproduction. First, the opposite sexes can mate by spawning the...
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