Sand Sifting Sea Star (Astropecten polyacanthus)

Also known as Brown-spotted Comb Star, Comb Sea Star, Comb Star, Comb Starfish, Marginal Spine Sea Star, Sand Sifting Starfish, Sand Star, Starfish, Spiny Sea Star, Spiny Starfish, White Sea Star, White Starfish

Description

Also known as Brown-spotted Comb Star, Comb Sea Star, Comb Star, Comb Starfish, Marginal Spine Sea Star, Sand Sifting Starfish, Sand Star, Starfish, Spiny Sea Star, Spiny Starfish, White Sea Star, White Starfish.

Found buried during the day, in silty seabeds, crawling over sandy bottoms at night, foraging for food in estuaries, harbours, coral and rocky reefs. Varies in colour.
They feed on benthic invertebrates.
Length - 12cm
Depth - 0-200m
Widespread South East Atlantic, 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. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astropecten_polyacanthus

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