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.

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How does a starfish protect itself?
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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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can you eat starfish?

    A:

    Certain species of starfish are edible. In some countries, such as Japan, starfish is considered a delicacy. Starfish can be baked, boiled or deep fried. The legs must be severed and opened to reach the edible flesh inside, which is scooped out with a small fork or spoon.

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  • Q:

    How long do starfish live?

    A:

    Starfish can live an average of 35 years in the wild. Their regenerative abilities contribute to their long lifespan. Vital organs are located in the arms, allowing a starfish to survive even if most of the body is destroyed.

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  • Q:

    How can you preserve starfish?

    A:

    To preserve a starfish, soak it in rubbing alcohol for up to 48 hours before placing it outdoors to dry. The drying process can take several days, but it may be hastened by placing the starfish on a bed of salt and baking soda. Choose a large container to ensure there is enough space for heavy objects to weigh the arms down. Add a sealant to the starfish after drying, if desired.

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  • 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.

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