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Starfish Gallop With Hundreds of Tubular Feet | Deep Look

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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They may look cute and colorful, but starfish are actually voracious predators. To sniff out and capture their prey, they rely on hundreds of water-propelled tube feet, each with a fiercely independent streak.

Watch the new PBS Terra science show, OVERVIEW: https://youtu.be/Lt9qYvKFumM
SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! http://goo.gl/8NwXqt

DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

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On a visit to a friends lab in Tokyo, marine biologists Amy Johnson and Olaf Ellers witnessed something theyd never seen before. The starfish in Tatsuo Motokawas lab werent content slowly gliding across the floor of their tank, they bounced and galloped, zooming around their enclosure.

For one of the most familiar animals in the sea, this was a new behavior, never before described in the scientific literature.

It was an absolute epiphany, said Johnson who studies how sea stars move and teaches marine biology along with Ellers at Bowdoin college in Maine. That moment we first saw them bounce completely transformed everything we were planning to do with our research.

Since then, Johnson and Ellers have worked to change the way we understand these animals who have successfully made a home on this planet for at least 450 million years.

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What do starfish eat?
Most sea stars are predators. They hunt a variety of marine animals including bivalves like mussels and clams but also sponges, snails, algae. Some sea stars are scavengers that consume detritus.


How do starfish breathe?
Sea stars mostly transpire through their tube feet which have very thin walls. Oxygenated water travels to other parts of the starfishs body through its water vascular system.

Do all starfish have five arms?
Nope! There are many types of sea stars and while most have five arms there are stars with fewer or more. Sea stars have radial symmetry, but may have evolved from a bilateral ancestor (with right and left sides).

---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science:

https://www.kqed.org/science/1970271/starfish-gallop-with-hundreds-of-tubular-feet/

---+ For more information:

Article: Sea star inspired crawling and bouncing
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2019.0700

---+ More Great Deep Look episodes:

Sea Urchins Pull Themselves Inside Out to be Reborn | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak2xqH5h0YY&t=44s

A Sand Dollar's Breakfast is Totally Metal | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxZdBPDNiF4

Decorator Crabs Make High Fashion at Low Tide | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwQcv7TyX04

For Pacific Mole Crabs It's Dig or Die | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfoYD8pAsMw


---+ Shoutout!

Congratulations to the following fans on our Deep Look Community Tab for being the first five to ID both names for the water inlet structure on a starfish - the sieve plate or madreporite!

Elise Wade
Pet Owner
younis ahmed
Mospus the Spider
MacKenzie Piacenti

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---+ About KQED

KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media.

Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is also supported by the National Science Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation, Campaign 21 and the members of KQED.
#starfish #seastar #deeplook

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