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:

    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.

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  • Q:

    Where do starfish live?

    A:

    Starfish, which have been renamed sea stars, live in all areas of the oceans that cover the Earth. The most common form of starfish is the five-armed species that earned the species its nickname. There are versions of this marine invertebrate that have up to 40 arms.

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  • 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:

    What are the kingdom, phylum, class and order of the starfish?

    A:

    Starfish belong to the kingdom Animalia, the phylum Echinodermata and the class Asteroidea. The order varies depending on the species. The common starfish, Asterias rubens, belongs to the order Forcipultida.

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