Dissecting a Starfish

When considering dissecting a starfish, you must understand that this creature is a sea animal with a proportional endoskeleton. It feeds on mollusks and moves with hundreds of extremely small tube feet. Now, prepare the necessary tools for dissecting the starfish. These include a probe, a scalpel, dissection tray, scissors and pins. You must wear goggles and protective clothing to cover yourself against debris.

Pin your starfish into the tray in such a way that its top view faces you. Use the scalpel for cutting off one ray’s tip. Create two parallel, long incisions between the tip and the central disk, with each incision being close to the ray’s edge. Peel off the top tissue layer and find the lateral canal (to which the tube feet connect) and ring canal (to which all the rays’ lateral canals attach) then label these portions.

Expose and label the digestive glands of the starfish. Find the stomach by eliminating tissue out of the central disk. After labeling the stomach, find the gonads. You cannot detect the starfish’s gender without using a telescope because the gonads of starfish males and females look alike. After dissecting the starfish and before cleaning up the work area, ask your instructor first if you have located all the required starfish parts by letting him see all your labels.

Modern Uses

Based on starfish facts, these animals are definitely very useful in keeping the equilibrium and balance in the food chain under the sea. These animals have a very wide preference when it comes to their diet which is why they can help control the number of opportunist organisms in the oceans. But aside from their usefulness in the environment, there are also other uses of these starfishes by humans. A common use of starfishes today is in the seawater aquariums. More...

Starfish Facts on their Diet

Starfishes are among the most fun- looking marine animals that kids really want to pick when they go to the beach. Because of their appearance, people get more interested about these animals. One of the common questions about starfish facts that kids ask is about the food and the diet of starfishes. The diet of these sea creatures is actually quite interesting because of the variety of food that they eat. There are more than one species of starfishes in More...

Locating a Starfish

If you want to find a starfish, go to a nearby rocky beach. Typically, starfish stick to underwater rocks near the seashore. This is the best area to locate these wonderful marine creatures. It is a good idea to look forward to low tide. It is at low tide that the sea reveals a lot of rocks, which have been underwater. In addition, it leaves behind rock pools where there is a vast variety of sea creatures. The best time More...

Starfish Facts on its Ancient History

When it comes to researching about starfish facts on their history, it is actually a very difficult process because starfishes are echinoderms and their species hardly leave any trace in their fossils aside from their external ossicles and spines. This makes it extra difficult for the researchers to spot and identify fossils that are strictly from the starfishes. But according to research findings, starfish fossils can be traced back to Ordovician which is roughly about 450 million years ago. There More...

Feeding a Starfish

Nowadays, marine scientists call starfish “sea stars”, since they are actually not fish, but echinoderms. There are more than two thousand species of sea stars. Most of them have five arms, but others are blessed with up to forty arms. The stomach and mouth of the starfish are located on its bottom. These animals usually push their stomachs from their bodies, wrapping them around the food for digestion. When learning how to feed a starfish, identify what type your starfish More...

External Threats

The greatest threat to starfish is similar one which endangers most other seawater animals: human beings. Starfish needs clean and clear water as its habitat. When humans permit water pollutants to flow into the seas and oceans, these species can get extremely unhealthy and even die. In addition, there are several cultures that allow the eating of starfish. In case too many starfishes are brought away from any area, these beautiful seawater creatures will be deprived of the opportunity to More...

Starfish Facts on Environmental Dangers and Threats

According to zoologists who study starfishes and their impact to the environment, these sea creatures have a very important role in the oceans. They may look like decorations in the ocean floor but they are actually considered as keystone species because they contribute in creating balance of species under the sea which can be done through predation. With the starfish facts that people already know, it will be a good start to know what these animals do so that people More...

Other Cool Starfish Facts

There are various marine creatures, such as manta rays and sharks, which can prey on starfishes and penetrate their solid skin. There are species of birds that can feed on starfishes, which come too close to the water surface. The larger starfish species may sometimes feed on smaller marine species. The lifespan of a starfish can be up to thirty-five years if it is able to get away from its numerous predators. What makes the starfish very different from most More...

Starfish Facts on Regeneration

Some of the most fascinating starfish facts are about their abilities in regenerating arms that have been cut. First you must understand why there are instances where a starfish could be missing an arm. The starfishes can actually be bitten by a predator and was able to escape or the starfish voluntarily cut one of its arms so that the predator will be distracted and they can escape. There are also species that cut their arms to reproduce. The duration More...