Tip of the Day – 6/25/2013


On the surface, it would probably appear that all starfish are the same. After all, they mostly all have the same number of legs and the same general requirements for surviving in the home aquarium. Despite several similarities, though, there two are extremely different groups we often see in captivity. You have your typical starfish, which have five legs lined with tube feet and they extrude their stomachs when it comes to eating. The other variety of stars, the Ophiurrids, include brittle and serpent starfish. These stars lack true tube feet, forcing them to wrap their arms around food items. Additionally, they often engulf a full piece of food instead of extruding guts and digestive juices to digest it. This often leads to a rather large lump being digested internally, which also gives a funny shape to the star’s body. Ophiurids are pretty shy for the most part, choosing to hand out behind the rocks and waive their arms in the current to pick up passing food. Ophiurd stars are a wonderful group, and they often play nice with other aquatic life all the while chomping down on detritus and leftover food items.


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