Starfish Facts



  • Despite their name starfish are not fish, but belong instead to a group of small sea creatures called echinoderms.
  • Sea urchins and sea cucumbers are also echinoderms.
  • Starfish have star-shaped bodies and are predators that prey mostly on shellfish such as scallops and oysters. A starfish uses its five strong arms to prize open its victim then inserts its stomach into the victim and sucks out its flesh.
  • Under the arms of a starfish are hundreds of tiny, tube-like feet. Rigger tubes inside the starfish’s Body pump water in and out of the feet, flexing the arms and driving the starfish along.
  • Starfish often drop some of their arms off to escape an enemy, but the arms eventually grow again.
  • Sea urchins are ball-shaped creatures. Their shell is covered with bristling Tines, which can be poisonous.
  • A sea urchin’s spines are used for protection. Urchins also have suckerlike feet for moving.
  • A sea urchin’s mouth is a hole with five teeth, on the underside of its body.
  • Sea cucumbers have no shell, but a leathery skin and a covering of talky plates called spicules.
  • When threatened, a sea cucumber chucks out pieces of its gut as it swims away. It grows a new one later.