Average life span in the wild:Up to 35 years
Size:4.7 to 9.4 in (12 to 24 cm)
Weight:Up to 11 lbs (5 kg)
Did you know?
Sea stars have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is actually filtered sea water.
Sea stars are echinoderms, along with brittle stars, feather stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. ‘Echinos’ is a Greek word meaning ‘spiny’ and ‘derm’ means ‘skin’. This is because all echinoderms have plates in their body wall. These plates may either be large or microscopic.
What does a sea star look like?
The skeletons of these animals are often seen washed up on the beach, devoid of the wonderful colours they are known for when alive. Live animals are usually red, orange, pink or yellow but grey, green, blue or purple ones can also be seen. These fascinating marine animals consist of a central disc and five or more radiating arms. At the tip of each arm is a small red eye and beneath the body is a central mouth. Turn a live one over and you will see its tube feet, each with a suction disc at the tip, which it uses to move about. Depending on the species, they are between eight and 50 centimetres long. Sea stars are remarkable, as they are able to regenerate lost or damaged parts of their bodies. An arm that is broken off can be regrown. Some species can actually regrow a complete new body from a single severed arm, if it is attached to part of the central disc.
Where do sea stars live?
There are some 2,000 species of sea star living in all the world’s oceans, from tropical habitats to the cold seafloor. The five-arm varieties are the most common, hence their name, but species with 10, 20, and even 40 arms exist. Sea stars have a wide distribution throughout all of the world’s temperate and tropical seas. Numerous species are found in each of Western Australia’s marine parks. For example, 170 species of sea stars, sand dollars, heart urchins and sea cucumbers are found in the Montebello Islands Marine Park alone.
What does a sea star eat?
They are carnivorous and most species prey on shellfish, but some eat sea urchins, sea cucumbers and other sea stars. They feed by extruding their stomach between the shells of bivalves. A few catch small fish or shrimps with pincers on the top of their bodies, then pass the animals around to the mouth by using their tube feet.
Download free Seastar wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Seastar wallpaper 1
Seastar wallpaper 2
Seastar wallpaper 3
Seastar wallpaper 4
Seastar wallpaper 5
Seastar Coloring pages
Print free Seastar coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.