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The most common species in the mid- to lower-intertidal zones, Pisaster ochraceus has five stout arms (but occasionally four, six or seven) and inhabits water down to 300 feet, from Alaska to Baja California. It grows to a diameter of 14 inches, and comes in many colors, from purple to brown and orange to red.
Sea stars use their tiny little tube feet to latch onto rocks as well as to feed. A visitor to the tide pool should not pull them off the rocks. This one was found upside down in the tide pool.
Spotted on Jul 18, 2012
Submitted on Aug 29, 2012