The starfish is an echinoderm that lives in the sea. Found mainly on shallow submarine sands or reefs around the world, the starfish is no stranger to us.
However, we know very little about its ecology. The starfish does not look like an animal, and from its appearance and slow movements, it is hard to imagine that it is a voracious predator that also plays an extraordinarily important role in marine ecosystems and biological evolution.
We usually think of gentle animals as herbivores and fierce ones as carnivores. So, these quiet, almost motionless starfish should be better suited to eating algae or plankton! But the opposite is true - starfish are not only carnivores, but they are also fierce carnivores.
Most starfish that look like five-pointed stars of marine life can devour large numbers of mollusks, echinoderms, abalone, oysters, small shellfish, and so on. Starfish do not have eyes and rely on sensors on their bodies to find food.
When they approach their prey and catch their opponents on their tube feet, they envelop them, and then, spitting their stomachs out of their mouths, the digestive enzymes in their stomachs are rapidly released into the prey, dissolving it before sucking it in.
When feeding on meat animals, starfish first envelop food such as shellfish, then turn their stomachs out of their mouths, followed by a fluid (what we might call a poisonous gastric juice) secreted from their stomachs to anesthetize the food before opening their shells (if any) and finally taking in the fresh meat.
There are also starfish species in the sea that are unable to fight off very powerful prey, so they feed on smaller crustaceans, swallowing their opponents whole when they take their meal. This is when they digest differently from most starfish, as their digestion takes place directly in the stomach, called internal digestion. Others, living in the deep sea, filter food particles through their fine cilia and then 'drink' them indirectly.
Starfish, which are abundant and diverse, are mostly five-wristed, star-like and in the sea, hence their name. But there are also more than five. The average starfish looks like a five-pointed star, with hard limestone armor attached to the outside of the starfish's body and beautiful coloring.
Starfish are found in all seas of the world, and there are now more than 1,600 species found in scientific research. It is important to know that starfish generally have five wrists, each of which can feed, and feed in huge quantities. And their ability to regenerate is so strong that even if only one wrist remains, it is not expected that a starfish with only one wrist will continue to eat meat.
The fishermen thought that they could destroy the starfish by smashing its hard shell, but this backfired and it reproduced more starfish.
From the above feeding and breeding methods, it is clear that starfish are particularly good eaters and breed quickly. As a result, coastal shellfish farmers are trying to eliminate them, and their large diet and rapid reproduction are a great danger to shellfish farming.