Sea Stars: Asteroidea
Velcro Sea Star (novodinia Antillensis): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: Velcro sea stars have ten to fourteen arms with rows of spines and teethlike pinchers. The arms are long and thin. These sea stars are brick red.
Geographic range: Velcro sea stars live in the Atlantic Ocean near the West Indies.
Habitat: Velcro sea stars live in water 1,970 to 2,625 feet (600 to 800 meters) deep. They attach themselves to steep rocky surfaces in areas where the current is strong. They often live near large sponges, sea fans, and hard corals.
Diet: Velcro sea stars eat animal plankton, which is microscopic animals drifting in the water.
Behavior and reproduction: Velcro sea stars look like baskets when they extend their arms and curl the tips inward over their mouth. They stay still while waiting for prey but slowly bend their arms to capture prey, which becomes stuck on arm spines and hooks. Velcro sea stars release eggs and sperm into the water, where fertilization takes place.
Velcro sea stars and people: Velcro sea stars have no known importance to people.
Conservation status: Velcro sea stars are not considered threatened or endangered. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Carson, Rachel. The Edge of the Sea. 1955. Reprint, Boston: Mariner, 1998.
Niesen, Thomas M. The Marine Biology Coloring Book. 2nd ed. New York: HarperResource, 2000.
"Echionoderms: The Spiny Animals." Oceanic Research Group. http://www.oceanicresearch.org/echinoderm.html (accessed on February 28, 2005).
"Sea Stars." OceanLink. http://oceanlink.island.net/oinfo/biodiversity/seastars.html (accessed on February 28, 2005).
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