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The Kid Should See This

How Many Sea Star Species Live in British Columbia?

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Sea stars are a diverse group of echinoderms. Echino meaning “spiny”, and derm meaning “skin”. They’re part of the animal kingdom, closely related to sea urchins and cucumbers. While sea stars come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, they’re split into two main classes: Ophiuroidea and Asteroidea.

Ophiuroidea contain brittle stars, with their long five arms, basket stars, multi-armed creatures that catch passing prey in a mess of contracting branches. Asteroidea is a class of what look like classic sea stars whose ancestors date back 450 million years.

Pisaster ochraceus, generally known as the purple sea star, ochre sea star, or ochre starfish,

Today, there are over 1,500 sea star species, dozens of which can be found in BC’s coastal waters.”

How do sea stars defend themselves from predators? How fast do they move? What does their DNA reveal? Learn these answers and see more of these incredible crinoids in this marine life video from Hakai Magazine.

snot-like mucus defense
similar looking sea stars that are actually different species
Learn more about marine life in the Pacific Northwest at Hakai.org and on their YouTube channel.

Watch these echinoderm videos next:
• How do sea stars walk and bounce?
• Galloping Starfish and their army of sniffing, tasting, gripping tube feet
• Under The Dock, a marine life series by Hakai Institute
• Feather stars and their animal invaders

Semi-related: The secret life of sea snot.

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