Field Frame Friday: Inside Out Lunch

Seastars literally turn inside out when they are feeding! To start their meal, stars will force open the shell of the invertebrate (such as the cockle shown here) using their underbelly suction discs, after which they insert their stomach through their mouth parts and into the shell. The stomach will secrete digestive juices that breakdown the invert and absorb it into their stomach membranes. The species of starfish shown here is a Fat Henricia (Henricia tumida) and was photographed off the Southeast Alaskan coast.

[Photo and caption by Josie Hubbard]

NOAA Fisheries. (n.d.). Seastars of Alaska.

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