Project Description

Spiny Starfish

Scientific name: Marthasterias glacialis
Size: Up to 30cm across (in very rare cases up to 80cm)
Colour: Very pale blue, with white spines
Habitat: Rocky shores, in rock pools or under rocks

  • Like other starfish, if they lose an arm they can regrow it.
  • The purple tips to their arms are actually very basic eyes that can detect light and dark.
  • To eat prey such as mussels, they slowly pull the two shell halves apart and when there is a gap, they push their stomach out through their mouths, into the shell and digest it!
  • They eat many different creatures, so don’t put one in a bucket with other animals as it may try to eat them!

Photo credit: Paul Naylor