The word 'starfish' itself is a misnomer because these creatures are not really fish. In fact, starfish are echinoderms that belong to the class Asteroidea. Also known as sea stars, there are many different types of starfish. In fact, an estimated two thousand species of starfish exist. Starfish inhabit each and every ocean of the world, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, as well as in the Arctic and the Southern ocean, although maximum variety of starfish are found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Although they are also found in shallow water, they will never be seen in freshwater bodies. These invertebrate carnivores can survive for up to thirty-five long years.
Starfish Information and Facts
- It's a widely believed myth that starfish always have five arms (who is to blame, because most of the images that you see of starfish do show them having only five arms) but some species of starfish have as many as twelve arms too. Also, just like what a lizard can do with its tail, a starfish can regenerate an arm if it is lost. This takes a few months to happen. Also, if the starfish fears that it is in danger, then it can even drop an arm on its own.
- One of the amazing facts is that these creatures don't possess a brain. As in, according to the starfish anatomy, they lack a proper central nervous system and instead have nerves which lie within and below their skin.
- What would surely qualify as one of the interesting starfish facts for kids is that, as per its convenience, a starfish can change its gender!
- The mouth of the starfish lies in the middle on its underside, from where it feeds on clams, oysters, and fish.
- One of the facts about sea star is that when these starfish want to feed on their prey, they do so in a very unique manner. Since a starfish's mouth is on the underside, when it wants to eat a prey, first the starfish will wrap its strong arms around clams or their prey's shells and coverings and then jerk it open. Then, once the feed is right underneath it, it pushes its stomach out of its mouth, into the shell and takes in the prey and then, retracts its stomach back inside through the mouth! This method of feeding allows the starfish to eat a prey that is much larger than its mouth opening.
- Starfish do not have centrally located eyes as such but instead have eyes at the tip of their arms, which can allow it to see in light and dark but not very clearly.
- Most starfish have a thick and spiny cover which is designed for their protection. As the rate of locomotion is very slow for starfish, they are at a risk of predators eating them up. Hence, their external skin has spines made of calcium carbonate which deters their predators.
- Now that you know that starfish do not have a centrally located brain, one of the interesting facts about starfish that may astonish you is that they don't have any blood either! Yes, these marvels of the sea do have blood in their body but instead have a well-developed water vascular system.
- How starfish locomote is also an interesting concept to study. These sea creatures have hundreds of tube feet on their underside. These tube feet attach themselves to a surface and then move in a wave like fashion, with one part of the tube feet releasing when the other gets attached.
These were a few of the amazing starfish facts. These creatures of the sea, despite their huge popularity and multitude of species types, have become threatened due to environmental pollution, especially oil spills. So, let's do our bit and try to preserve these creatures so that our future generations get a chance to see and admire them too.