This topic submitted by Erin Woedl ( at 8:13 PM on 4/12/04.

Jeremy enters the bowels of Lighthouse Cave, San Salvador, Bahamas.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

I have always had an interest in starfish. I started looking on the internet about starfish, the more I looked up, the more the topic sparked my interest. I started to learn about the different types of starfish and their ocean lives.

I. Introduction
A. Types of Starfish

II. Animal Kingdom
A.Phylum Echinodermata
1. Asteroidea (Sea stars)
a. Arms connected to each other
b. Difficult to tell where central disk ends and arms begin.
2. Ophiuroidea (Brittle stars)
a. Distinct boundary between the arm and central disk
III. Birth
A. Reproduction
1. Shed enormous amounts of eggs and sperm into water
2. fertilization is external
B. Larva
1. after fertilization
2. grows into the starfish body
IV. Body
A. Skeleton
1. Internal
2. Skeletal spicules
B. Spiny skin
C. Vascular system
1. moves water in the body
D. Feet
1. Suction cups
2. Tiny tubes used for gliding and sliding
E. Arms
1. Can grow back if damaged
2. Some arms can create a new starfish
F. Color
1. Ability to change color to hide from enemies

IV. Food
A. Shelled animals
1. Oysters, clams, sea urchins, barnacles, mussles, and other small animals.
B. Some eat other starfish
C. Eating process
1. Sneaks up and jumps on it and surrounds the shell.
a. Uses suction to pull apart the shell
b. Puts stomach into shell to eat the inside
1. Stomach moves back into starfish

V. Conclusion
1. Where to find starfish


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