STARFISH AT CASUARINA POINT, ABACO


STARFISH AT CASUARINA POINT, ABACO

Kasia, a vital contributor to this blog, has supplied a number of images taken at low tide in the Casuarina Point / Cherokee Sound area on Abaco, including these excellent starfish. I’m posting them right away because starfish haven’t so far featured at all in this enterprise. Whenever I have seen them from a skiff I have been otherwise (and mostly ineffectually) engaged at the sharp end of the boat… 

All images ©Kasia (c/o rollingharbour) 

BAHAMAS STARFISH – 10 ESSENTIAL FACTS 

  • Other names include Cushioned Star and Red Cushion Sea Star
  • Its  invertebrate body is covered by a hard shell with raised knobbly spines 
  • The color of adults may be brown, orange, red, or yellow. Juveniles are mottled green (for camouflage in seagrass beds) 
  • Found in calm shallow waters (depths 1m – 37m), most commonly on sandy bottoms. Juveniles are usually found in seagrass beds
  • Individuals can grow to 50 cm / 20″ diameter
  • Adults live in dense aggregations called ‘fronts’ of 200 to 4000 individuals
  • When food is scarce they can reabsorb body tissue to prevent weight loss / size decrease
  • They are omnivores, feeding on micro organisms, urchins, sea cucumbers, small invertebrates, crab larvae, and sponges 
  • They use their ‘arms’ to rake piles of sediment and then evert the stomach, enveloping the food in its folds (don’t try this at home).
  • The cushioned star is over-harvested for souvenirs and the aquarium trade, and is no longer common in areas of high human population
Sources: various (not Wiki except for chart). You are all stars. Sea stars, in fact


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