Friday, August 1, 2008

Crown of Thorns Seastar

[Originally posted to the Moorea Coral Reef LTER (MCR LTER) Marine Life Encyclopedia]

Crown of Thorns Seastar - Talamea
(Acanthaster planci)

Crown of Thorns Seastar - Acanthaster planci
Photo by Gerick Bergsma

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Great Barrier Reef, Hawiian islands.

Can be found on seabeds and reefs, but prefer to be sheltered from strong currents and weather.

Crown of Thorns Seastars feed on coral polyps by spreading their stomach out through the mouth, secreting digestive juices, and sucking in the remains.

Quick Fact
Touching the spines of the crown-of-thorns seastar can be very painful, because each spine releases toxic chemicals into the skin when it stings.

Learn More
- University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

- Moorea Biocode Database

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