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From seals to starfish: polar bears radically shift diet as habitat melts

From seals to starfish: polar bears radically shift diet as habitat melts | All about water, the oceans, environmental issues | Scoop.it
One of the most iconic species of the ongoing climate change drama, polar bears have dropped in numbers as their habitat melts, with previous estimates forecasting a further 30 percent reduction within three generations. However, their situation may not be as dire as it seems.
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Starfish Wasting Disease outbreak could be due to radiation

Starfish Wasting Disease outbreak could be due to radiation | All about water, the oceans, environmental issues | Scoop.it
Nuclear pollution from the Japanese power plant damaged by an earthquake in 2011 could be contributing to the disease wiping out starfish on the West Coast.
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Ocean mystery: Disease kills millions of Starfish - Video on NBCNews.com

Ocean mystery: Disease kills millions of Starfish - Video on NBCNews.com | All about water, the oceans, environmental issues | Scoop.it
Video on msnbc.com: Top researchers go on a fact-finding mission to figure out why the millions of Starfish are dying at an alarming rate on the West Coast, including Washington and all along the coast of California.
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Northwest Starfish Experiments Give Scientists Clues To Mysterious Mass Die-offs · EarthFix · News Fixed on the Environment

Northwest Starfish Experiments Give Scientists Clues To Mysterious Mass Die-offs · EarthFix · News Fixed on the Environment | All about water, the oceans, environmental issues | Scoop.it
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Starfish

Starfish | All about water, the oceans, environmental issues | Scoop.it

When people think of starfish they think of the typical five armed creature as pictured above and that is correct for the majority of species. But the species is very diverse and starfish can have anything up to 50 arms and come in a large variety of shapes as shown by the feather stars on a previous post. There are so many beautiful members of this family that you can see while you visit the Great Barrier Reef. 

The starfish uses water to propel itself. Yes you thought that it used all those little “legs” with suction caps to move along. Well they do and they use water taken in through their body to provide suction to those “legs”. This helps the starfish to appear to float or glide across the surface of the water.

Starfish generally eat their food whole and use their stomachs to digest their food. They eat just about anything they can find on the reef including clams, fish, molluscs, small fish, coral and algae. They can also digest food outside their body by excreting their stomachs allowing them to eat creatures much largers then they could through their mouth.

Sea stars have endoskeletons. The top of the starfish is sensitive to light and the bottom of the starfish is sensitive to different chemical compositions allowing them to “smell” food. Another cool fact is the starfish breathes through it’s feet.

Starfish breed a lot depending on species. The can be hermaphrodites, capable of sexual and asexual reproduction, some are born males and later change into females. One common fact is you cannot tell the difference between the male and females unless you see them during spawning. Reproductive organs are contained within the starfish.

Kathy Dowsett's insight:

Reprinted and shared from New Horizon!

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