Q:

Are starfish poisonous?

A:

Quick Answer

Starfish, also called sea stars, are poisonous to humans. The sun star, the leather star and the crown of thorns are examples of poisonous starfish that cause minor to severe toxicity in the human body.

Continue Reading
Are starfish poisonous?
Credit: Borut Furlan WaterFrame Getty Images

Full Answer

The crown of thorns starfish is the most common poisonous starfish. It lives on and eats coral. It can grow up to 3 feet in diameter and have as many as 21 arms. This starfish is covered in long spines that can easily penetrate a wet suit. Although its toxin is not deadly to humans, it causes severe redness and burning. In some cases, a person exposed to its toxin may vomit or feel nauseated. The spines may also break off and remain embedded in the victim's flesh.

Learn more about Starfish
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the scientific classification of starfish?

    A:

    Starfish are part of the phylum Echinoderm and are most closely related to sea cucumbers, brittle stars and sea urchins. They are in the kingdom Animalia, class Asteroidea, and can be any of a variety of different orders, since it is estimated that there are more than 2,000 different star-shaped sea critters known to man.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do starfish have brains?

    A:

    Starfish lack an actual brain and instead use a complex nervous system to sense the environment. Nerves run from its mouth down each arm to eyespots at the ends of those arms. This allows starfish to distinguish between light and dark.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What phylum does a starfish belong to?

    A:

    Starfish belong to the phylum Echinodermata, which is a Greek term referring to the spiny texture of many species in the phylum. Echinodermata is the largest phylum with no freshwater or terrestrial representatives, and it includes starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the respiratory system of a starfish?

    A:

    Starfish take in oxygen and dispel carbon dioxide through their tube feet, thin skin and a hole located on top of their body, and circulate the gases throughout their body using a water-vascular system. Their respiratory system is rudimentary and sometimes nonexistent.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore