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Starfish (Cushion)

Oreaster reticulatus
Starfish (Cushion)

Range

They are found in the Atlantic from South Carolina to Florida.

Habitat

They live on the sandy bottoms of oceans and on coral reefs and rocks.

Body Traits

They have a yellowish-orange hard, thick-body with spines. They have short legs with tiny suction cups underneath. They can grow to 10 inches wide. Their mouth is on their underside.

Habits

They can grow back when injured (regenerate). A complete new animal can grow from a small fragment such as an arm. The only animal that preys on cushion starfish, besides for man, is the giant triton.

Diet

They eat animals (carnivores), like sponges, clams, oysters, etc. Their stomach comes out of them and wraps around their prey. Digestive juices coat their prey and start to digest it. As it goes to mush, the starfish absorbs it and then sucks its stomach back in.

Reproduction

Males and females let sperm and eggs out into the water. Young sink to the ocean floor to grow up.

Starfish (Cushion)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Subphylum: Asterozoa
Class:     Asteroidea
Order: Valvatida
Family: Oreasteridae
Genus: Oreaster
Species: O.reticulatus

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