Not Fish, but Echinoderms: Despite their name, starfish are not actually fish. They belong to the phylum Echinodermata, making them close relatives of sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers. The more accurate term for them is "sea stars."
Regeneration Masters: One of the most remarkable abilities of starfish is their capacity for regeneration. If a starfish loses an arm, it can often grow it back. In some species, a whole new starfish can regenerate from just a portion of the central disc.
Water Vascular System: Starfish move and feed using a unique hydraulic system known as a water vascular system. Seawater is drawn into the system through tiny tube feet, which operate like suction cups. This system helps them to move and capture prey, usually bivalve mollusks like clams and oysters.
Multitude of Arms: While the term "starfish" might bring to mind a creature with five arms, many species actually have more. Some can have up to 40 arms! The number of arms is typically in multiples of five.
Eyespots for Navigation: Although starfish don't have complex eyes like those of vertebrates, they do possess eyespots at the end of each arm. These eyespots are sensitive to light and dark and help the starfish navigate in their environment.
Starfish are captivating marine creatures with a range of intriguing adaptations. Their resilience, ability to regenerate, and distinctive anatomy make them a unique and important part of the ocean ecosystem. Dive into the depths to discover more about these celestial beings of the sea! 🌊⭐🐚