starfish

(also called ‘sea star’)

a kind of animal – sea water & bottom dweller (= lives on the bottom of the water body) – echinoderm – no back-bone or any bones – star-shaped flat body with a central disc from which, mostly five, arms grow,

underside of a starfish

the mouth in the centre of the disc on the underside, small tube-like feet with suckers on the underside running along from the centre of the disc to the tip of each arm, spines on the top side: size: from ½ an inch to 4 feet wide (some species can be as small as 0.18 of an inch), and weight: from a few grams to 6 Kg; feeds on (eats) mostly corals and shellfish – mostly oysters and clams; lives for 3-5 years (some common starfish species may live for 5-10 years); about 2000 species found in almost all the oceans of the world

Special Features:

a starfish with many arms

The starfish is one of the peculiar animals.  Though the name has ‘fish’ in it, a starfish is not a fish; it is an ‘echinoderm’, one of the three main types of shellfish.

Most starfish have five arms; however, there are starfish with 4, 6, 9 or even 20 arms!

a starfish with six arms

The starfish has no front or back – only top and bottom with the mouth part on the bottom (or underside) and the spines on the top side!  A starfish can move in any direction without turning, and it can rearrange some of its arms or change its shape to get into any narrow gaps in the rocks in order to escape from its predators!!

People do not eat starfish, but keep the dead and dried starfish as souvenirs; and some people keep the smaller ones in their fish tanks as pets!

 

About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.

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