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SEVEN-ARMED SEASTAR (Astrostole rodolphi)
Biodiversity > Marine Life > Echinoderm > Seastars

Seven-armed seastar

The most common seastar at LHI is the Seven-armed seastar. These large seastars measure up to 18 cm across and may be coloured blue to brown. The arms have two features. On the top and sides they are covered in short strong spines that protect the animal from attack. Underneath the starfish, are hundreds of tiny tube feet, each one having a suction cap with which the animal can grip the substrate gathering food. (The tube feet can be seen by gently turning the starfish over, though always remember to turn the starfish right way up after the inspection is complete.)

The Seven armed seastar preys upon a great variety of marine creatures, utilising the remarkable ability to extrude its stomach around or into the body cavities of its prey. This method of external digestion enables the starfish to devour animals much larger that its own mouth cavity. The tube feet are used to grasp the victim, which is then conveyed to the mouth area. The starfish extrudes its stomach around the prey, and digestive secretions soon dissolve its tissues.

Size: 18cm 

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