If you find yourself in the Dominican Republic – do not miss the chance to visit the Blue Lagoon and get acquainted with its beautiful and unusual inhabitants – starfish. You will find shocking facts about these creatures in this article!
Starfish are not just beautiful scenery and decoration of the seabed. At first glance, they seem primitive and somehow not real. But looks are deceiving. These animals have the most complex nervous and digestive systems. Well, for example: did you know that a starfish is a real predator? And the stars can move along the seabed for decent distances. And this is not all that is known about starfish.
We have collected for you the most interesting facts about these amazing animals.
- The starfish is one of the oldest inhabitants of our planet. This species is over 400 million years old!
- Sea stars belong to the type of echinoderms and are separated into a separate class with more than 1500 species.
- Starfish can range in size from a few centimeters to one meter.
- The lifespan of some starfish can be over 30 years.
- Most often, starfish have 5 rays. But in some species their number can reach 6-12 and even 45-50.
- It’s hard to believe, but in the rays there are digestive outgrowths of the stomach and even outgrowths of the genital organs!
- The starfish even has eyes! They are located at the ends of each beam. True, the structure of the eyes is very primitive, they are not able to distinguish objects, and react only to light and darkness.
- On each ray of the starfish there are also small suction cups-tentacles, with the help of which it moves along the bottom. Moreover, each leg moves independently of the others, but their actions are always coordinated.
- The average speed of movement of an adult is 10 cm per minute, the maximum is 25-30 cm per minute.
- Observations of sea stars have shown that they do not move more than 500 meters from their habitat.
- The starfish can roll over from its back to its belly.
- Sea stars have a highly developed sense of touch. They try to get rid of the sand and parasites that appear on the surface of their body, and they also move by touch.
- Sea stars have an amazing ability to regenerate! For example, in case of danger, a starfish can reject all the rays, and then grow them again!
- There are times when a whole star is regenerated from a fragment of a beam. In young stars, the lost parts usually recover faster than in old ones, and in warm-water tropical species faster than in inhabitants of cold waters.
- Starfish have neither gills nor lungs. They breathe through special growths on the surface of the body.
- The starfish is even capable of producing elementary conditioned reflexes. So, individuals who often fell into the nets learned to get out of them faster than those who were caught for the first time.