STARS OF THE SEA
There are 2,000 living species of starfish that occur in all the world's oceans.
Starfish are among the most familiar of marine animals and possess a number of widely known traits, such as regeneration and feeding on mussels.
Sugar Starfish -
The bodies of starfish are composed of calcium carbonate components.On the end of each arm or ray there is a microscopic eye (ocellus), which allows the sea star to see, although it only allows it to see light and dark, which is useful to see movement. Only part of the cells are pigmented (thus a red or black color) and there is no cornea or iris. This eye is known as a pigment spot .
Lavender Armored Starfish - The lifespan of starfish varies considerably between species, generally being longer in larger species. For example, some reach sexual maturity in two years, and live for about ten years in total, while others reach maturity in five years, and may live to the age of 34.
Jungle Starfish -
Most species are generalist predators, eating mollusks such as clams, oysters, some snails, or any other animal too slow to evade the attack (e.g., dying fish). Some species eat decomposed animal and plant material. Others may consume coral polyps (the best-known example for this is the infamous Crown-of-thorns starfish), sponges or even suspended particles and plankton .
Grasping the shellfish, the sea star slowly pries open the shell by wearing out the adductor muscle and then inserts its stomach into an opening to devour the organism.
Blue Starfish feeding -
11-armed sea star -