Starfish Research Paper

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A different substance is released from a second type of secretory cells that enables the foot to release from the ocean floor or other surfaces. Regeneration: Can you imagine having the ability to regrow a part of your body? Courtney Fernandez Petty is a science communications and outreach intern at the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

Most species of starfish can regenerate, or regrow, damaged or lost arms. If an arm is damaged by a predator such as another starfish or a crab, the starfish can detach that arm and grow a new, healthy one. She is also a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Much like a lizard, when threatened by a predator, the starfish can drop it’s arm to escape and still survive.

Many of the vital organs are within the arms of a starfish, but in some instances, starfish can slowly re-grow from just one extremity as long as a part of the starfish’s central disc is still located in that arm. Starfish are exoskeletons, which means that they have a hard layer made of calcium carbonate plates which protect their soft insides.

Some, including the Sun Starfish can have over 20 arms.

Speaking of arms, one of the starfish’s defense mechanisms is the dropping and re-growth of their arms.

Most starfish form in groups or pair when they reproduce. Starfish traditionally feed on oysters, claims and snails.

To feed on such animals, the starfish pry their prey’s shells open and then push its stomach through it’s mouth into the shell and swallows the meat inside.

Feeding: Starfish are mostly predators and feed on invertebrates such as mussels and clams that live on the ocean floor.

Several species have specialized feeding behaviors including eversion of their stomachs.


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