Critters of the Chesapeake Bay Sea Stars or Starfishes
Sea Stars Sea stars, or starfishes, or starfish are echinoderms, which means “spiny-skinned”. They are a very strange group of animals!
Sea Stars Unlike most advanced animals which are bilateral, echinoderms show radial symmetry as adults. This means they have no head and no tail.
Sea Stars The most distinctive structure of an echinoderm is an elaborate water-pumping system which operates its tube feet.
Sea Stars At the center of their bottom or oral side is their mouth. They like to feed on such things as clams and oysters.
Sea Stars Sea stars lack a brain, but they have two stomachs! One for digestion and the other stomach can be extended outward to engulf and digest prey.
Sea Stars Sea stars are known for their ability to regenerate lost arms. Their ability to regenerate depends on the species.
Sea Stars In some types, a new sea star may be regenerated from a single arm attached to a portion of the central disk.
Sea Stars Sea stars tend to found in the saltier waters near the mouth of the bay and the ocean inlets where other echinoderms are found.