Ochre sea stars

Ochre sea stars

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Credit: JIM ZIPP/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ochre sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) on rocks above the water line. This starfish, also known as the purple sea star, inhabits the intertidal zone on the western coast of North America. It can reach 40 centimetres in diameter, and feeds on shellfish, such as mussels. To eat these, it uses one arm to grab each of its prey's shells, and pulls them apart. It then extrudes its stomach and digests the animal inside, withdrawing its stomach when it has fed. Photographed in Olympic National Park, Washington, USA.

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Keywords: animal, coast, echinodermata, exposed, horizontal, intertidal, invertebrates, many, marine life, multiple, nature, ochre, out of water, pisaster ochraceus, purple, purple sea star, rock, rocks, rocky, sea stars, starfish, stars, wildlife, zoology

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