Juvenile starfish, SEM

Juvenile starfish, SEM

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Caption: Juvenile starfish. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an early juvenile starfish. In the last stages of larval development the left side of the brachiolarial larval body becomes the oral surface of the juvenile and the right side the aboral surface. Part of the gut is retained but the mouth and anus move to new positions. Some of the body cavities degenerate but others become the water vascular system and the visceral coelom. The starfish is now pentaradially symmetrical. It casts off its stalk and becomes a free-living juvenile starfish (seen here) about 1 mm (0.04 in) in diameter. Magnification: x30 when printed at 10 centimetres wide. Specimen courtesy of Jennifer Skinner, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, brachiolarial larva, echinoderm, fauna, invertebrates, juvenile, larva, plankton, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, single, skeleton, symmetrical, symmetry, tube, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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