A more modern name for Asteroidea or starfish is now Sea Stars. Usually they have five arms but sometimes a few species have more. Here are some beautiful Sea Stars that I have found and photographed around Providenciales out at Bonefish Point, Grace Bay, Taylor Bay as well as other areas of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The red cushion star can be very large, sometimes growing to about 50 centimetres (20 in) in diameter. It usually has five thick, broad arms projecting from a cushioned disc therefore the name. The colour of adults is some shade of red, orange, yellow or brown. The juveniles are greenish-brown with mottled markings which provide camouflage from predators.
Sea stars are often found in calm shallow waters (depths from 1 – 37 m) and more commonly occur on calcareous sandy bottom. The ones I’ve found have been mainly out at Bonefish Point just off the sandbar. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy our “beautiful by nature” Turks and Caicos Islands on your next trip to Provo.
Happy Sea Star watching everyone.