Today I want to write about a fascinating species, the northern Pacific sea star.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These strange sea animals grow up to 50 cm in diameter. Some people call them starfish, but they really should be called sea stars as they aren’t fish.
- They look friendly, but are actually very aggressive predators, mainly eating mussels, scallops and clams. They use their arms to squeeze apart the shells slightly and then push their stomach through the gap so that they can digest their prey.
- Female northern Pacific sea stars carry up to 25 million eggs and constantly release them into the water to be fertilised by the males. The babies take between 50 and 120 days to turn into adults. If the water is warmer, they become adults quicker.
- Like other species of sea stars, they can re-grow missing limbs, which makes them very difficult to kill. If you cut one in half, both sides survive and they become two separate animals.
- Northern Pacific sea stars are naturally found off the coasts of northern China, Japan, Korea, Japan and Russia. They have also been accidentally introduced to waters off southern Australia, where they have become an invasive species, eating native shellfish and damaging the local economy.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about northern Pacific sea stars?