Cushion Sea Star (Culcita novaeguineae)

Also known as Starfish, Stella Marina Cuscino, Tropical Sea Star, Tropical Starfish, Cushion Star, Cushion Starfish, Pin-Cushion Star, Pin-Cushion Sea Star, Pin-Cushion Starfish.

Description

Also known as Starfish, Stella Marina Cuscino, Tropical Sea Star, Tropical Starfish, Cushion Star, Cushion Starfish, Pin-Cushion Star, Pin-Cushion Sea Star and Pin-Cushion Starfish.

Found singly or in groups on coral and rocky reefs and amongst rubble.
Their pattern and colour can vary from place to place.
They feed on molluscs, worms and detritus.
Length - 25cm
Depth - 0-30m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

Sea Stars have remarkable regenerative powers, when attacked and damaged by predators they are able to grow new arms. They usually have five arms but have been found with 4 or 6 arms, this may be because more than one arm has been damaged at one time!
Sometimes small parasitic limpets can be found on the underside of arms which can deform the arms.
They possess a cleverly evolved arsenal of hydraulic tube feet connected to an elaborate water-vascular system that encircles the animal's mouth and extends via five radial canals down the centre of each arm.
Their mouth is underneath, but their prey is absorbed outside their mouths by forcing out their digestive organs from their stomach.
Sea Stars are carnivores and feed on almost any food including molluscs, worms, detritus and each other!
Some sea stars like the crown of thorns can be venomous.

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