Eleven Armed Sea Star, Coscinasterias calamaria

The eleven-armed sea star (Coscinasterias calamaria) is a species of starfish that is classified within the Asteriidae family. Its range extends from New Zealand to southern areas of Australia. It prefers to reside in low tide areas with rocky terrain. This species typically grows eleven arms, although it can have up to fourteen, which reach an average length from tip to tip of about 11.8 inches. Its coloring is typically blue with many other colors mixed in including green, grey, brown, and orange. Individual arms vary in length, especially after re-growing after an accident, in a process known as fissiparity. This species has tube feet on its underside as well as on its upper side and is covered with spines on the top of its body. The tips of its arms hold numerous sensors devoted to smell, which help it locate food sources at a quicker rate than other species. This species consumes it prey by inverting its stomach to engulf the food and then releasing a digestive secretion to break down the food.

Image Caption: Eleven-armed Sea Star at the Observatory in Harrisons Cove, Milford Sound, New Zealand. Credit: Benutzer:Hase/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)