Friday, September 20, 2013

Royal Starfish

Astropecten articulatus
Today's animal is the Royal Starfish, an Echinoderm that gets its name from it's royal purple coloration. These five armed creatures sport bright orange marginal plates, with a deep blue or purple interior. Quite the color combination!

The eastern coast of the United States is where the Royal Starfish calls home. Their normal habitat is the continental shelf, typically between 0 and 30 meters down.

It can be hard to imagine such a sedentary creature being a predator, but the Royal Starfish certainly is! They snatch up mollusks with their arms, and then guide the prey to the mouth cavity, where the prey is swallowed whole!

IUCN Status : Not listed
Location : East coast of the United States
Size : Arm length up to 4in (9cm)
Classification : Phylum : Echinodermata -- - Class : Asteroidea -- Order : Paxillosida
Family : Astropectinidae -- Genus : Astropecten -- Species : A. articulatus
Image : Project Noah

7 comments:

  1. Very beautiful predator, never seen anything like it!

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  2. i find them quite interesting, but what eats them

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    Replies
    1. crabs,fish,gulls and sea otters

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  3. We found a dead in the surf at Atlantic Beach, NC. They are beautiful.

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  4. its is very cool my little sister is doing a project on it

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  5. me too but it's for science.

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