Recently, scientists and experts have suggested that the name starfish should be changed to sea star. The reason is fairly simple – starfish are not fish! They are actually echinoderms, and more closely related to species like the sea urchin than they are any type of fish. There are over 2,000 species of starfish found in today’s oceans, and no two species are exactly alike!
- Recommended Age: 3+
- Size in cm: 10.5 L x 10.5 W x 1.5 H
Knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus), often collected for the pet trade, are listed as endangered. Sea Star Wasting Syndrome has been noted since the 1970's, but it has recently increased in frequency, area, and virulence. The syndrome has been attributed to both bacterium (vibrio) and a virus. The syndrome is still being studied in an attempt to alleviate the massive die-offs in the American Pacific Northwest. There are species, such as the crown of thorns, that can be considered problematic if their numbers are too high in that they consume coral and can cause considerable damage.