I came across this starfish while visiting Florida recently. Sometimes they are referred to as sea stars. There are hundreds of species of starfish, which aren’t “fish” at all. They are echinoderms and related to sea cucumbers and urchins. This fellow is a thorny starfish with five arms, but some species have nine arms. I don’t think I’ve come across one of those before.
If this critter feels threatened, it can escape by letting one of the arms break away. In one of those miraculous acts of nature, within a year the sea star can grow back the missing arm.
Sea stars are usually be found on Florida beaches after a storm during low tide.
Another thing I love about the beach are the variety of shorebirds that hang out there. Unfortunately, on most Florida beaches, they’ve become so accustomed to people they just hang out on the beaches hoping someone will drop some food, but please refrain from doing so if they approach you. They need to remain aloof from humans. Here’s a royal tern giving me and my camera a pose. I use a zoom lens for most of my photos of wildlife so I’m not as close as it seems in this photo. Please be aware that shorebirds nest on crowded beaches. It’s best to leave them be; any disturbance can cause them to abandon their nests.
I suppose on this strange February afternoon in Pennsylvania, I’m longing for spring. The walks on Florida’s beaches seem so long ago now.
How goes for it in your part of the world?