Are 23 Legs Enough?
© 2009 Colleen M. Griffith. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, modified, or redistributed in any way without written agreement with the creator. This image is registered with the US Copyright Office.
Sunflower Starfish on the hunt at Pacific Coast Tidal Pools, California. These starfish are considered voracious predators. You'd be surprised to see how quickly they can move. Sea urchins are the starfish's favorite food, and in this photo, he's camped out very close to a bed of them - perhaps he's farming them like we do with cattle? Kind of like a Sea Urchin Ranch.... They also eat clams, snails, abalone, sea cucumbers and other sea stars.
These animals are the largest starfish in the world. Sunflower starfish can grow to have an arm span of 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. The other really interesting tidbit about these starfish - they can shed arms in order to escape from other predators and can regrow them in a matter of a few short weeks. Just imagine if we could do that..... notice this little guy is in the process of regrowing several of his legs.
Sunflower Sea StarSea UrchinStarfishTidal PoolcacaliforniaColleen M GriffithMoss Beach
From 2009 New Photos