Starfish, also called sea stars, are one of the most recognizable and familiar animals in the sea. But most people have never seen them do anything more than clamp down on a rock, motionless, as they wait out a low tide.
Starfish are actually voracious predators that scour the seafloors of oceans all around the world searching for prey.
Most sea stars have five arms, though some have more — up to 25 in some species. On the undersides of the arms are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny tube feet called podia.
These water balloon-like tube feet are the focus of this fascinating Deep Look video from KQED and PBS Digital Studios. Learn how these podia squeeze water, secrete glue, smell, taste, touch, grip, bounce, gallop, and individually “figure out which way to go and how to get there.”
Watch these echinoderm videos next:
• How do sea stars walk and bounce?
• A Nine Armed Sea Star flips itself over
• Feather star swimming off the coast of Japan
• The largest sea star in the world: a sunflower sea star eating