Q:

Are starfish poisonous?

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Quick Answer

Starfish, also called sea stars, are poisonous to humans. The sun star, the leather star and the crown of thorns are examples of poisonous starfish that cause minor to severe toxicity in the human body.

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Are starfish poisonous?
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Full Answer

The crown of thorns starfish is the most common poisonous starfish. It lives on and eats coral. It can grow up to 3 feet in diameter and have as many as 21 arms. This starfish is covered in long spines that can easily penetrate a wet suit. Although its toxin is not deadly to humans, it causes severe redness and burning. In some cases, a person exposed to its toxin may vomit or feel nauseated. The spines may also break off and remain embedded in the victim's flesh.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What size are starfish?

    A:

    Starfish, or sea stars, range in size from 5 inches to over 9 inches. Starfish may weigh over 10 pounds. There are 2,000 species of starfish, with most having five arms, but some species having as many as 40 arms.

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  • Q:

    How does a starfish eat?

    A:

    Most starfish, also known as sea stars, eat by prying open the shells of prey such as clams or oysters with their arms, pushing their stomachs out their mouths and into the prey's shell, partially digesting the animal and then pulling their stomachs back into their mouths. Starfish that don't have suction disks swallow prey whole and afterwards eject undigested parts.

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  • Q:

    What part of the ocean do starfish live in?

    A:

    Starfish typically reside in shallow waters along rocky coasts, according to The Columbia Encyclopedia. The starfish is an echinoderm of the Asteroidae class. Around 2,000 species of starfish exist across the planet.

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  • Q:

    What is the scientific classification of starfish?

    A:

    Starfish are part of the phylum Echinoderm and are most closely related to sea cucumbers, brittle stars and sea urchins. They are in the kingdom Animalia, class Asteroidea, and can be any of a variety of different orders, since it is estimated that there are more than 2,000 different star-shaped sea critters known to man.

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