Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yesterday's Starfish is Today's Sea Star

Starfish are now known as sea stars -- because marine scientists want people to know that starfish aren't fish at all, but members of the echinoderm family.  There thousands of species of sea stars, the most common being the five arm variety, but sea stars with up to 40 arms exist!  Some have 10, 20 or even 40 arms.
Sea stars I made from paper clay and paint
 Sea stars come in many colors so that they can camouflage and hide from predators.  Sea stars have bony skin that protects them as well.
 Sea stars have the ability to regenerate because their organs are found in their arms.
 I remember my science teacher in grade school telling our class how fisherman found the starfish to be a nuisance.  They would wrap themselves around clams and oysters and compete with the fisherman for the catch of the day.  The fisherman would take the starsfish from their nets and cut them into pieces  before throwing them into the ocean.  The fisherman figured they were solving their starfish problem as well as feeding other marine life.  In fact, the population of the starfish didn't decline, but quadrupled!
I always found that to be rather interesting.
No matter what they are called, starfish or sea stars they are quite beautiful.

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