Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not All Starfish Have 5 Arms

The Sun Starfish (Pycnopodia Helianthoides) can have up to 24 arms and be 30 inches in diameter – they’re huge!  In fact, they are the largest starfish in the oceans.  They are quite pretty and come in shades of pink, purple, red, yellow and brown.  However, looks can be deceiving.  The Sun Starfish is a fierce predator.  It loves to eat sea urchin and it will also eat clams, sea cucumbers and its distant relatives – other starfish!  It is very fast and can move three feet per minute.  Like other starfish, they can regrow their arms if lost.  For example, if a Sun Starfish gets caught by a king crab, it can shed its arms to escape the crab’s grasp.  The Sun Starfish’s arms will grow back in a few weeks.

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