How do sea stars eat?

StarfishFirst, sea stars grip their prey (e.g., bivalves, such as clams and oysters) with their suction feet and pry them apart to eat the muscle inside the shells. Then, once the bivalve’s shell is open, the stomach of the sea star emerges from the middle of the underside of its star-shaped body to absorb the delicious entrée inside itself. After this happens, the animal is full and not going anywhere soon (e.g., me after Thanksgiving dinner).

A sea star is another common name for starfish. Scientists, and the likes of me, are on a campaign to get people to refer to this echinoderm as the ‘sea star’ instead of a starfish. Since, well, they simply are not fish. Similarly, jellies are not called jellyfish anymore.

Check out this video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium of a sea star chowing down!

Do you have another great question? Email info@beachchairscientist.com and share your thoughts.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think the information should be way LONGER with lots of more info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. i liked this info. im working on a science project in school about sea life. tthis helped alot!

  3. Its supposed to be ‘how a starfish eat’ i clicked and its just what a starfish eats. Misleading title and all u speak is about that campaign sea stars

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  1. […] by contracting and stretching. Tubed feet also come in handy when grasping food to place into the mouth of the sea star. For more information and a great image of the madreporite of a sea star click […]

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