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Chocolate Chip Sea Star-Protoreaster nodosus

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by

Sara Neel

on 25 February 2014

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Transcript of Chocolate Chip Sea Star-Protoreaster nodosus

Interesting Facts
Taxonomic Classification
Where Can it be Found?
commonly found in shallow lagoons and the Indo-Pacific reef region
found all over seagrass beds and sandy areas
prefer sheltered, sandy or slightly muddy bottoms
can also be found on coral reefs to depths of 100 feet
Related Species
Defining Characteristics
Resembles a chocolate chip cookie
has dark brown pointy tubercles(horns) shaped like chocolate chips all over the top of it for protection
the 'chocolate chips' are variable in size, color and pattern between individuals
has five arms
color ranges from shades of light brown or cream to a brilliant deep orange
no two Chocolate Chip Sea Stars are exactly alike
can be up to 16 inches long
What Do They Eat?
carnivores-- are not picky eaters
feed on sponges, snails, shrimp, bacteria and detritus or waste products, and the remains of dead plants and animals
hunt using their sense of smell
once they smell something they want to eat, it carries itself over to its food
the mouth is on the underside of their body
the sea star covers its food, then pushes out its stomach from inside its body and covers it
stomach juices smother the food, and cilia or tiny hairs move its now gooey meal inside their body
Chocolate Chip Sea Star-
Protoreaster nodosus

Also called the "horned" sea star
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Asteroidea
Order: Valvatida
Family: Oreasteridae
Genus: Protoreaster
Species: nodosus
Sea stars cannot see. They have an ‘eye spot’ on the end of each arm. The eye spot can detect changes in light and dark, but cannot make out distinct shapes, colors or details
Echinoderms: radial symmetry, several arms radiating from a central body
Brittle stars, basket stars, serpent stars (Ophiuroidea)
Sea urchins, heart urchins and sanddollars (Echinoidea)
Holothurians or sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea)
Feather stars and sea lilies (Crinoidea).
While many sea stars are dried and used for arts and crafts, the chocolate chip sea star isn't often collected for this purpose
usually much too large
people have not found many uses for these stars, keeping their population stable
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