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Sunflower Star

Pycnopodia helianthoides

Description:

The sunflower sea star (Pycnopodia helianthoides) is a large predatory sea star usually with 16–24 limbs called rays[citation needed]. It is the largest sea star in the world. Sunflower sea stars can grow to have an arm span of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. The color of the sunflower sea star ranges from bright orange, yellow and red to brown and sometimes to purple, with soft, velvet-textured bodies and 16–24 arms with powerful suckers. Most sea star species have a mesh-like skeleton that protects their internal organs. Easily stressed by predators such as large fish and other sea stars, they can shed arms to escape, which will grow back within a few weeks. They are preyed upon by the king crab.

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Leilah
Spotted by
Leilah

British Columbia, Canada

Spotted on Jul 6, 2010
Submitted on Jan 15, 2012

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