Leather Sea Star (a.k.a. Starfish)
Dermasterias imbricata

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Range and habitat:
These sea stars are found on the rocky reefs and sandy areas of the Eastern Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Baja, Mexico.

Natural diet:
The species feeds primarily on sea anemones and related animals, but in aquarium settings it prefers pieces of seafood such as smelt, shrimp and squid.

Size / weight range:
Most sea stars grow to about 10 to 12” in diameter.

Interesting Facts:
'Starfish' are actually not categorized as fish, nor are they related to fish. Leather sea stars get their name for their smooth leathery skin, which is unlike the rough skin of most species of sea star. Although the purple sea star has five eyes (one at the end of each of its rays, or arms) it can only sense light or dark and cannot focus or see movement.

Because of the sea stars' habit of eating shellfish, fisherman hate them and would often cut them in half and throw them back in the sea – but the sea star is able to regenerate, so this would just create more sea stars to eat the fisherman’s shellfish!

Location at The Toledo Zoo:
Aquarium

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