Sunday, February 17, 2013

Common Comet Star

Linckia guildingii
The Common Comet Star is a Sea Star found in the warm, tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They grow 4-7 arms that can reach about 8in in length each, and are generally grey in color, though reds, purples, and oranges are also found.

These Starfish are especially interesting because of their regenerating arms. Most Starfish can regenerate a broken limb, but the Common Comet Star can regenerate an entire new animal! If an arm breaks off, it is called a "Comet." Comets can move about on their own, and can slowly grow more arms until a whole new Starfish is generated. The process can take up to six months to complete!

The Common Comet Stars are also able to reproduce sexually, with males and females releasing sperm and eggs in order to spawn.

When it comes to feeding, the Common Comet Stars are actually able to exvert their stomachs. This means that instead of eating their food and having the digestive juices break it down internally, they excrete their digestive juices and break down the food first... and then eat it. They primarily consume algae and bacteria  but will also eat dead sea creatures.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Tropical Oceans
Size : Arm length up to 22cm
Classification : Phylum : Echinodermata -- Class : Asteroidea -- Order : Valvatida
Family : Ophidiasteridae -- Genus : Linckia -- Species : L. guildingii
Image :  USCA

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