Starfish, or sea stars, can reproduce sexually or asexually. During sexual reproduction, the male and female release sperm and eggs into the environment, resulting in fertilized free-swimming embryos. During asexual reproduction, a part of the arm and central disk detach from the parent and develop into an individual sea star.Continue Reading
The microscopic larvae resulting from sexual reproduction begin to grow and, within several months, look like adult sea stars. The swimming embryos are animals that eventually metamorphose, settle to the floor of an ocean area and develop into adults. Some species of sea stars that inhabit the polar oceans sit on their eggs or use specialized brooding baskets. Sea stars can regenerate their limbs by housing most or all of their vital organs in their arms. Some sea star species cannot regenerate without the central disk intact, but a few species can grow a new individual sea star from just a portion of a severed arm. The process of regeneration may take as long as a year.
The most well-known species of sea stars, the crown-of-thorns starfish, decimated large populations of corals in the Great Barrier Reef. Early attempts to control the population of sea stars involved chopping the sea stars into pieces.Learn more about Marine Life
The sublittoral zone is home to anemones, crabs, sea stars and coral. The sublittoral zone is another name for the deepest region of the intertidal zone.Full Answer >
Octopuses, jellyfish, sharks, sea stars and sea turtles are a few of the numerous animal species that inhabit the oceans. Since most plants need sunlight to carry out photosynthesis, many underwater plants make their homes close to the shore. Phytoplankton is one of the most common plant types.Full Answer >
Starfish have eyes at the end of their arms, though scientists were unsure whether or not they could actually see anything. In 2014, research demonstrated that the eyes do allow at least some starfish a degree of vision beyond merely the distinction between light and dark.Full Answer >
Starfish color varies depending on the species and even the presence or absence of environmental threats — most species have the ability to change color, via camouflage, to match their surroundings. Some starfish are naturally tan and dark brown, while others may be light pink or crimson red.Full Answer >