Sunday, December 9, 2012

It Lives to Eat Other Starfish

If you were a five legged (or ray) starfish just hanging around the undersea rocks and you saw this 13-legged starfish coming your way, you better move fast.  Why? Because it's probably coming to get you.

With nicknames like the 13-Arm Hammerlock, or Cannibal Sun Star, this rare but aggressive  Dawson's Sun Star  (solaster dawsoni) even looks menacing, or maybe more like a creepy character from Pirates of the CaribbeanAnd it also dines on other starfishes.

The above photo was recently taken off the shores of Big Sur, along the central coast of California, during a Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary field project.

The Dawson's Sun Star has no natural enemies--except itself--henceforth, that cannibal nickname.

A Dawson's Sun Star devouring another starfish.

All photos from NOAA/Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary


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