Starfish: better than I thought

Here’s what I thought about starfish, until about five minutes ago:

  • Don’t look like fish
  • Don’t seem to do much
  • They’re probably just like really big limpets

It certainly never occurred to me they can move, but the BBC have a gorgeous time-lapse video of starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins and other soft, squishy seafarers swarming over and feasting upon on a dead seal. It looks like CGI.

Lots of starfish

Here are some things I know now about starfish:

  • Starfish can eat by pushing their stomachs through their mouths and using the digestive juices to break down the foodstuff.
  • There is a type of starfish called a ‘Bat star’. Sometimes Bat stars fight. “Fighting behavior consists of pushing and laying an arm over the other.” Aw.
  • Some starfish can regenerate. Chop a starfish into five pieces, and – as long as some part of the central ring is left attached to each arm – you’ll get five starfish. Nice.

I am now a fan of starfish. Flickr has some great shots.