Q:

How does a starfish protect itself?

A:

Quick Answer

Starfish have sharp spines that serve to deter possible predators and make a starfish look like a rock, helping it blend into the background. Some species of starfish have a chemical coating on their bodies that gives them a bitter taste. Others produce poisons in their outer body walls.

Know More
How does a starfish protect itself?
Credit: David Shankbone CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Starfish have five arms that form a distinctive star shape radiating out from a central disk. Some starfish have more than five arms. The sun star has 40 arms. Each arm has an eye spot at the end that can sense light and dark.

Starfish have a water vascular system, with the water providing structure and a method of propulsion. Their feet fill up with sea water and can be retracted or used as suctions to create movement.

The diet of the starfish consists of clams, mussels, small fish, barnacles, oysters, snails and limpets. They use their arms to grab their prey and push their stomach out through their mouth to digest it. The stomach then slides back into the body.

Though commonly known as starfish, these animals are not technically fish. Their scientific name is the sea star. Most live in tide pools, with a few species living in deeper water.

Learn more about Starfish

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can you preserve a starfish?

    A:

    To preserve a starfish, soak the starfish in alcohol and place it in a sunny location outdoors until it is completely dry. Salt and baking soda can also be used to preserve starfish.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do starfish breathe?

    A:

    Starfish breathe through their feet. Their feet are made of thin tissue that gases can easily move through. Starfish’s tubed feet and tiny bumps all over their bodies transport the oxygen from the seawater to their tissues. They move carbon dioxide from their tissues to the seawater.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do starfish move?

    A:

    Starfish move using tube feet on their undersides. Their feet use seawater to form a hydraulic system. The starfish's vascular system is open and relies on the water around it rather than internal pressure. Starfish can only move outside of water for a short time. A starfish left out of water for too long loses its ability to move, and it dies if not quickly returned to the ocean.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats a starfish?

    A:

    Starfish, despite their crusty exteriors, are vulnerable to predators like crabs, sea otters, sharks and other starfish. A starfish injured by any of these predators can regenerate damaged or missing limbs, although gulls swallow starfish whole.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore