Sea Stars

model for an animal puzzle

Sea stars surface at low tide when the rocks of Auckland's rugged coast get exposed at low tide. Often large groups cling together in rock cracks.

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Star of the sea ...

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Stars of the sea

Oceans all around the world are home to 2000 asteroidal shaped invertebrates often called star fish. The term sea star is more suitable since they belong to the group of echinoderms. This describes a group of animals with tube feet and a calcified body covering as protection. Some are exceptionally colourful in their appearance others camouflage in their surrounding.

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Remarkable characteristics:

  • Live in marine environment, many species at reefs some on sand, and few in brackish water
  • Variety in size from a couple of inches to about 35 to 40 cm in diameter
  • Number of arms 5 to 40
  • Life expectancy depends greatly on their body weight, the smaller ones up to 10 years, and the larger ones up to 35 years
  • Regrowth of lost limbs, some limbs even can regrow the whole body
  • Brain and bloodless with a unique vascular system fed by sea water
  • Many digest externally, and throw their entire digestive system over their prey and retrieve it when finished
  • Feed on molluscs and smaller slower invertebrates

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