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Starfish on the St Simons Island Beaches

by Guerry Norwood

In the last week or so there have been a numerous starfish on the St Simons Island beaches from Massengale Park south to the St Simons Island Pier. The starfish get caught up in the Johnson Rocks at high tide.

Starfish are beautiful animals that can be a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, although all resemble a star. Even though they are commonly called starfish, these animals are known more scientifically as sea stars, as they’re not fish. They do not have gills, fins or a skeleton. Sea stars have a tough, spiny covering and a soft underside. If you turn a live sea star over, you’ll likely see its’ hundreds of tube feet wiggling.

These iconic marine animals are fascinating creatures. Sea stars move using their tube feet, and have an advanced water vascular system that they use to fill up their feet with seawater. They do not have blood, but instead take in seawater through the sieve plate located on top of the sea star, and use that to fill up their feet. They can retract their feet using muscles or use them as suctions to hold on to a substrate or the sea star’s prey.

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