Common Sea Star (Asterias forbesi)
Please Note: Scientists no longer call this sea creature a Starfish. It does not have fins, scales, eyes, or resemble a fish. Instead many people today call it a Sea Star. A more percise name for a beautiful animal.
Sea Stars Are More Brutal Than They Look
By DAVE TAFT
AUG. 23, 2017
The New York Times
From the perspective of a small organism like a clam or a shrimp, the Atlantic surf is probably a chaotic place of hostile instability. Shifting sands, blistering heat from an all-day sun, churning salt water; little wonder so many of the Atlantic shoreline’s residents gravitate to the small oases of coastal rock groins. Though some of the permanence of these carefully placed stones is illusory, they are a mecca for a variety of sea creatures. On hot days in August, they can be just as attractive to humans interested in gazing at sea stars.
The common sea star (Asterias forbesi) is an echinoderm related to sea urchins and sea cucumbers. As the name implies, they are covered with a remarkable skin flecked with raised bumps, which give the animal a rough texture – just rub your finger over any part of a starfish. Turn the sea star upside down, and what seems like a stiff, barely living creature reveals hundreds of tube feet that stretch and curl gracefully, and will even gently grab a finger if you offer it one. These tube feet are the animal’s sole source of locomotion and a deadly hunting tool.
Crawling deftly along the rocks or sand of the sea floor, sea stars find their prey – generally shellfish, like mussels or other bivalves — by following their scent.
STOP THE WILLIAMS FRACKED GAS PIPELINE THROUGH NY HARBOR!
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS ABOUT NY HARBOR
1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
2.Heartbeats in the Muck by John Waldman
3. The Fisheries of Raritan Bay by Clyde L. MacKenzie Jr.
4. Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell