Starfish

A starfish or Cushion Star in the shallows at Bonefish Point

A starfish or Cushion Star in the shallows at Bonefish Point

On numerous trips out to Bonefish Point, we have always spotted these brilliantly orange Cushion Stars which are thick bodied species of starfish with short legs. On this particular day, the sky and water were exceptionally clear and the cushion star was actually lying on the sand in very shallow water.

Colours range from brown to orange, red and yellow

Colours range from brown to orange, red and yellow

Cushion Stars are echinoderms which are found decorating our reefs all around the world. Here in the Turks and Caicos Islands we find and see them frequently in many areas usually on sandy bottoms and amongst the sea grass.

Tube like feet enable cushion stars to move along the sandy sea bottom

Tube like feet enable cushion stars to move along the sandy sea bottom

All of the echinoderms move around with the use of tiny tube feet many of which have suction cups on the end of them.

Tina gently lifts a cushion star to take a closer look

Tina gently lifts a cushion star to take a closer look

This sea star ( the Cushion Star) is easily viewed and identified because of its size, colour and thickness and because it is usually found close to shore.

The brightly orange coloured cushion star has a hard shell with raised knobby spines

The brightly orange coloured cushion star has a hard shell with raised knobby spines

Take a look off the edges of the sand bar at Bonefish Point……….you’ll be sure to see several of these brightly coloured cushion stars. We’ve seen smaller brown and more yellowish ones out there too.

 

Marta

 

http://www.diving.tc

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