Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Creature 197: Solaster dawsoni

Star wars.
Solaster dawsoni is a sea star which is usually referred to as the morning sun star, which is a silly name because the sun is a star.

This sea star is interesting in that it specializes in eating other sea stars. It will even eat other members of its own species. They are so good at eating other sea stars that many sea stars whose distribution overlaps with the morning sun star have evolved defence mechanisms. These range from fleeing the second they make contact to fighting back with pincers or slime. You can watch one of these slow motion battles here:

Solaster dawsoni  is found on continental shelf of the north Pacific ocean.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Asteroidea
Order: Velatida
Family: Solasteridae
Genus: Solaster
Species: Solaster dawsoni

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