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James Manzon

on 26 May 2014

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Transcript of Starfish

Ecological Significance
Status Update : Excretion of Wastes
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-Starfish have a simple digestive system including a

-The starfish has no kidneys and uses diffusion to get rid of their waste

-Starfish usually eat decomposing plants and animals

-Material waste is excreted through the anus and water vascular system; nitrogenous waste (urine) are excreted through the tube feet
-Primary role is to maintain the population of other species. e.g: algae; starfish feed on algae which restricts their population growth

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-Sea stars are quick to adapt to their environment

-Due to their unique traits of not having blood, brains, hearts, and gills, they have adapted in peculiar ways

-The regeneration trait of growing a new arm in replace of another one helps them survive from predators

-As they also lack blood, the starfish is unable to bleed to death, and can recover in a gradual amount of time
-Sea stars come in all shapes + sizes, however, many are the typical five-pointed sea star where they are composed of 5 equal arms
-Vary in colour
Lives In
Speed Racer
Sea Stars Getting It In (not really)
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Patrick Star (Sea Star)

-Also feed on mussels
-Assists other species because:
mussels often occupy lots of space, laying up to millions of eggs at once
-When sea stars feed on them, they indirectly allow other species to co-exist within the ocean floor
-This increases and potentially promotes the biodiversity of the ocean floor
-Sea stars are keystone species, providing lots of assistance in their marine environment

-Capable to adapt quickly to a new environment as well as eat diverse, making them significant to other species in the community

-An example includes the well-adapted West Indian sea star, a star that feeds on animals in sandy ocean floors, and plants in grassy ocean floors. This provides an increase in the diversity of the species occupying the space.
PHYLUM: Echinoderm

CLASS: Asteroidea
-Because they are part of the Echinoderms, they are radially symmetrical(symmetry in the central axis)

-Due to there being over 2,000 different species of starfish, they all have specific attributes that contribute to their individuality

-For example, the bat star derives its name from the webbing between each of its arms; it supposedly resembles the wings of a bat

-Another example is the sun star, which is renowned for its vivacious colour patterns and its many arms

-All sea stars, however, contain skin that provides them some type of protection. Depending on the species, the sea star may have leathery, rough and hard skin, or prickly and spiky skin

-Sea stars move slowly using their tube feet; which are small suctions present in the underside of a starfish, using water to move. Tube feet also allow the sea stars to stick and stay on the ground ocean floor
"no brain, no problem"
-They have also adapted in their diets: the starfish is able to eat anything it can fit in its stomach

-This trait allows them to live off of numerous plants and different types of animals

-The starfish's tube feet also has adapted as it helps capture prey and is used to pry open clams and oysters when they cannot get plants
Reproductive System
Reproducing asexually through fragmentation
-Starfish reproduce by "free-spawning."

-They release their gametes into the water where it will be fertilized by gametes of another sex

-Starfish often gather in groups when the are ready to spawn they produce sexually and asexually

-asexual reproduction means fragmentation
Fragmentation: The starfish can detach a part of itself then regenerate if the central nerve is attached to the arm

Many animals are capable of reproducing using fragmentation
Nervous System
-System is not very complex

-The starfish has no brain to coordinate its movement

-There is an area surrounding the mouth called the nerve net, the radial nerve branches off the nerve net and extends to each arm

-they have "eyespots" at the end of each arm to detect shadows and the brightness of light
Obtaining Nutrients
-There are many different types of sea stars ergo there are many different types of ways to obtain their nutrients

-Most, however, are carnivores, meaning that they feed upon other animals. Starfish are actually unable to eat their prey. Instead, they "siphon" them

-This happens because as the starfish confines its prey in its tentacles, it is able to move it to its mouth where there, the starfish pushes its cardiac stomach out of its mouth to engulf the food
-Once the prey reaches the first stomach, enzymes are released and the food is then turned into a liquid

-The starfish is then able to absorb the victim's nutrients as it transforms from solid into a liquid

-This process all happens in the second stomach of the starfish; after it is over, the stomach is retracted back into the body
Gas Exchange
-Starfish exchange gas over the surface of their body at the end of their tentacles, or on the underside of the star fish on its dermal gills or papulae
papulae --->
-Fresh water is pushed into the dermal gills by the cilia on the bottom of the starfish that create a current that pushes the water into the gills
-The cilia, though, is only able function with having the right pressure, and enough water in its anatomy; this is supported with a unique system called their water vascular system

-The water vascular system can only be used by sea stars, sea urchins and other Echinoderms

-The system actually possess numerous functions such as: removal of waste, transportation, as well as the respiration

-This is completed as water enters the body, first arriving in the star's madreporite, then the ring canal, then each of the star's arm, then the radial canals and finally exits the feet or cilia of the star
-The phylum Echinoderm contains many invertebrates that have their own special type of circulatory system (
the Hermal system
-The Hermal system is an open circulatory system

-Many of theses species lack a true heart but are equipped with rings and channels which filter and transport the nutrients
-The Hermal system also correlates with the distribution of nutrients and the excretory system

-Containing two significant rings (
oral and gastric hermal ring
), the Hermal system is used for primarily all of the sea star's circulation

These rings are all connected together by the axial sinus that also connects to the Hermal channels that run along against the gonads of the starfish

"10 Surprising Facts About Starfish." About.com Marine Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. <http://marinelife.about.com/od/invertebrates/tp/seastarfacts.htm>.

"Echinoderms (starfish, brittle star, sea urchin, feather star, sea cucumber)." Echinoderms (starfish, brittle star, sea urchin, feather star, sea cucumber). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2014. <http://www.starfish.ch/reef/echinoderms.html>.

Whitmer, Phil. "What Are Some Ways Starfish Adapt to Their Environment?." eHow. Demand Media, 23 Apr. 2011. Web. 14 May 2014. <http://www.ehow.com/info_8285529_ways-starfish-adapt-environment.html>.

"What role do starfish play in its ecosystem?." WikiAnswers. Answers Corporation, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. <http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_role_do_starfish_play_in_its_ecosystem?#slide=1>.

"How do starfish help the environment? - Yahoo Answers." How do starfish help the environment?. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. <https://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111206184927AAZFXPj>.
"Echinodermata." The Respiratory System. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://animalrespiratorysystem.weebly.com/echinodermata.html>

"Mass starfish deaths baffling biologists." The Globe and Mail. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/mass-starfish-deaths-baffling-biologists/article16096921/>.

"Are starfish really fish?." Are starfish really fish?. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/starfish.html>.
Bibliography (bibme.org):

James Manzon
Paola Lay
Tina Keng
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