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Common starfish

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Common starfish
Asterias rubens (Common starfish).jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Asterias rubens

The common starfish is a species of starfish known by the scientific name Asterias rubens. It is found in temperate and cool oceans; being most common in the Atlantic Ocean. It reproduces sexually and asexually; having a male and female form. The common starfish is an incredible example of God's creativity especially when it comes to regenerating-replacing lost or maimed rays.

Body Design

The common starfish is found from an average of 4-6 inches in diameter. This species of starfish is found in mainly three distinct pigments; which consist of red, orange, and purple. The common starfish develops five rays, or arms, that are connected to the central disk and radiate outward. There is no selected head on the common starfish’s physique, but the mouth is located at the bottom of the starfish’s central disk.[1] Connected on the upper part of the starfish's rays there are spines; which are found from the tip to the central disk. [2] The dorsal skeleton, of the common starfish, is just slightly developed. This results in an elastic type skin; with countless papulae, (which are projections of the coelom. The coelom refers to the main body cavity in many multicellular animals, including starfish, that serve in respiration and waste removal.) Papulae are mostly found in groups of three.[3]

Life Cycle

Reproduction is sexual with fertilization occurring externally. It starts with the male's gonads producing the sperm. Next, the females gonads will mass-produce up to 2,500,000 eggs.

One downfall in the spawning of echinoderms, especially Asterias rubens is the ciliate parasite known as Orchitophrya stellarum. This parasite takes advantage of the male’s testes; which will deteriorate and result in castration. The parasite is mainly found during the common starfishes’ breeding season, which is in January through late May. The desecrating of Asterias rubens reproductive organs leaves the male unable to reproduce. The color of the starfish will also fade into a weaker color; because it has an insufficient supply of healthy starfish. All of this helps benefit us from an overpopulation of starfish from occurring. [4]

Ecology

Asterias ruben is commonly found in the Northern Atlantic region on rocky and temperate shores.

The common starfish originated at the northeastern areas of the Atlantic Ocean. It is commonly found in Norway and Sweden, in the North Sea. It is also found in Spain, France, Portugal, and along the coasts of Africa’s Senegal. Although there are some sightings in the Gulf of Mexico, on the northeast Florida coast. [5]

Video

An intro to the Common Starfish (Asterias rubens)

References

  1. Lewis, C. 2000. Asterias rubens, Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 12, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Asterias_rubens/
  2. Common Starfish EOL Web. Accessed January 13, 2015. http://eol.org/pages/598481/details Author Unknown
  3. Common Starfish (Asterias rubens) Marine Species Identification Portal Web. Accessed January 15, 2015 at http://species-identification.org/species.php?species_group=Echinodermata&menuentry=soorten&id=40&tab=beschrijving Author Unknown
  4. Budd, Georgina.http://www.marlin.ac.uk/biotic/browse.php?sp=4137&show=reproduction BIOTIC Species Information for Asterias rubens “BIOTIC WEB” Accessed January 27, 2015
  5. Wikipedia contributors. Common starfish. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. October 7, 2014, 03:55 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Common_starfish&oldid=628581471. Accessed January 16, 2015.