photo

Haeckel Starfish

Starfish—marine invertebrates of the phylum Echinodermata—are famous for their ability to shed limbs as a means of defense and then regenerate the sacrificed part.
Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Natur / Biodiversity Heritage Library

Starfish—marine invertebrates of the phylum Echinodermata—are famous for their ability to shed limbs as a means of defense and then regenerate the sacrificed part. Ancient creatures, the fossil record for starfish extends back to around 450 million years ago. Figures 1-8 of this plate represent various larval and the adult stages of Asterias rubens, the most common starfish in the northeast Atlantic. Today, some starfish species are sadly stricken with a disease caused by a newly-identified virus that literally causes them to melt into a pile of slime.