Starfish have no brain, or any blood for that matter. That my seem outlandish, but starfish are remarkable creatures!
Starfish actually don’t have a brain, which may leave you wondering how on earth are they alive? Instead of a more traditional brain, they have a complex nervous system that is capable of decision making. This is centered around the ring surrounding their mouths. If i’m honest, i would not be surprised if some people didn’t even know they had mouths. But yes, the little guys do actually have mouths located on the middle of their underside!
In terms of having no blood, that may seem completely preposterous. However, starfish are able to transport nutrients and other necessary things around their bodies in another way. Seawater contains all of the nutrients that a little starfish needs, and so they are able to use filtered seawater to carry nutrients around inside their bodies. And, of course, they’re unlikely to ever run out as there is an endless supply of seawater in, well, the sea!
Starfish are such iconic sea creatures; up there with jellyfish, dolphins and seahorses on sticker sheets and coloring books alike. Despite this, a lot of really interesting and unique characteristics of these, at first glance simple, creatures go unnoticed. For the rest of this blog, i want to try and cover some other interesting features that starfish have in the hopes that i may open your eyes to their magnificence.
Other starfish facts
Starfish are part of the very very small group of creatures able to completely regrow a limb. During an altercation with a predator, it is very common for a starfish to lose a limb. That’s why the ability to completely regrow any lost or damaged limbs is vital skill for a starfish to have. Unfortunately this process can sometimes take years to complete and therefore they may be left limbless for a while.
On the topic of limbs, starfish have, quite famously, five of them. That’s what gives them the titular star shape. For most starfish, this is true. However some species are exceptions to the rule. The cushion starfish, for example, is more of a rounded blob shape. Some species go in the opposite direction by having even more than 5 arms. Some species have 7, 8 or 9 arms with a very small amount having upwards of 15 limbs! Seeing a usually cute creature with such an enormous amount of limbs is quite terrifying and yet remarkably beautiful too.
Starfish don’t appear to have any eyes, but this is not the case. They actually have eyes on the ends of their arms. These are not able to detect intricate detail, but can detect changes in light. This is satisfactory for them to be able to navigate their surroundings and locate potential prey whilst also avoiding any possible danger.
Each of their arms is kitted out with hundreds of tiny little legs that enable them to move around at shockingly fast speeds. I’m not talking about anything record breaking, but they’re much faster than you may think. I mean, we all have the image of a starfish sticking to a rock and never moving – but that’s not the case!
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also , come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.