The Starfish Disappearance

Starfish disappearance is not as yet understood.  Starfish are some of the most incredible pieces of ocean life in our world. These fascinating creatures are not fish either, despite their unique name. When you look at them closely, they do not have fins, scales or gills that a fish would have. They also don’t swim with their tales. Instead, these tiny creatures have tube feet that allow them to crawl across the surface of the ocean floor or even on the sandy shores of the beach. With their tiny eyes on each of their five star points, they can see what is going on from all angles.

The starfish can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. However, each animal in the species does look like a star and it is their iconic shape that has helped them to become one of the most beloved pieces of ocean life. Since they are not fish though, you may be wondering what their actual classification may be. They are known as an Echinodermata, a relative of the sand dollar in addition to sea cucumbers and urchins. What makes the echinoderms unique is that they have a radial symmetry of five points, or five sections that go around a central disc.

Right now, there are 2,000 known species of starfish that have been discovered. This species is not limited to one area either. They are found in all depths of water and even ones that vary from warm waters to the freezing arctic water. These incredible creatures also have the ability to regenerate the arms that is loses in an attack. While it can take up to a year for the arm to regrow, it does happen and it is one of the most fascinating things about ocean life.

But what is shocking, is that this species is slowly disappearing. In recent years the starfish disappearance is occurring with 11 different species in the areas of California to Alaska and along the East Coast.  They have mysteriously started to die. Their legs have started to fall off and their bodies are breaking down. The rate is incredibly high that could be the result of anything from chemicals, to viruses or other biological threats and there are still no answers.

This may seem surprising to some since the species is known for having tough skin that is leathery and offers calcium carbonate spines for their protection. This helps them to thrive and survive the attacks of most creatures. That makes this all the more curious.

Since they have no blood, the chances of these creatures experiencing a blood borne pathogen are very slim to none. These creatures instead pump sea water in their sieve plate and this helps to circulate water in a vascular system that is unique to this species.

The fact that these creatures are dying in large numbers has attracted the attention of national and global news. With most of what is out there being nothing more than speculation at this point, there will hopefully be answers in the future about what is causing these creatures to die in massive numbers.

It is unfortunate that the starfish disappearance from our ocean life is happening at an alarming rate. While the cause is currently unknown, it will be important for all of us to appreciate these incredible creatures while we have them and to celebrate their natural wonder and beauty.

 

Today’s Daily Swimming Workout:

Warm-up:  500 as 25 kick without a board working on balance, 75 swim maintain the balance in your stroke

Swim with swim fins on:  6 X 100 alternating backstroke and freestyle

Drill 200 Individual Medley

Swim:  8 X 25 butterfly, 2 X 150 backstroke, 3 X 100 breaststroke

Drill 200 backstroke

Swim:  2 X 150 freestyle, 4 X 75 freestyle faster, 4 X 25 freestyle sprint

Swim with Hand Paddles on: 4 X 150 as 100 freestyle, 50 breaststroke

8 X 50 your choice of strokes

Warm-down:  200 tai chi style swimming

Total:  4200 meters or yards

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