A Starfish Wasting Away

A morning sun star (Solaster dawsoni) loses its grip on a rock surface as its body slowly decomposes from starfish wasting syndrome off the coast of Vancouver in September 2013. These photos are from early observations of the syndrome, which has since spread down the U.S. West coast. It causes starfishes' bodies to decompose over the course of days, leaving nothing but a smear on the seafloor until it rots away. Read more about starfish wasting syndrome in our FAQ with expert Chris Mah.

A decomposing sea star loses its grip on a rock.

Jonathan Martin, Flickr