Forbes Common Sea Star

Asterias forbesi

Starfish

Starfish are echinoderms (spiny skinned animals) that feed on bivalves such as clams and oysters. Using the tube feet on their arms they are able to move slowly across the sea floor. The Forbes common sea star has 5 arms with hundreds of tube feet on each one. Each tube foot acts as a suction cup allowing the Starfish grip both halves of an oyster or clam shell. It will then slowly pull apart the two halves and extend its stomach into the opening to feed on the hapless bivalve. These creatures do an incredible amount of damage to oyster beds.

If the starfish loses an arm to a predator or in some other manner, it is able to regenerate it.

Keyhole Sanddollar

Mellita quinquiesperforata

The sand dollar is a relative of the sea urchin. They are covered in protective spines. Sand dollars feed on organic material and plankton trapped on sticky mucus on their bodies which tiny hairs called cilia push towards it mouth.

Test of Keyhole Sand dollar - Chincoteaque National Wildlife Refuge
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