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Sea Star

 

 Necklace Sea Star
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

A necklace sea star nestles among the C-shaped emerald tentacles of anchor coral in the western Pacific Ocean.


Maldives Sea Star
Photograph by Paul Sutherland

A red-and-yellow necklace sea star clings to a sea fan in the Maldives.

Ochre Sea Star
Photograph by George Grall

An ochre sea star (background) shares a kelp-strewn beach with a bright-red cousin at low tide on Washington's Tongue Point.

Purple Sea Star
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

A sea star with vibrant purple coloring rests on an ocean floor.

Neon Urchins
Photograph by Paul Nicklen

A nontoxic dye highlights water currents surrounding sea urchins (Astropyga sp.) off Vancouver Island, British Columbia. These small, spiny echinoderms are found in oceans all over the world.

Calico-Patterned Sea Star
Photograph by Walcott Henry

The white dorsal plates of this sea star, photographed in the western Pacific Ocean, give it a calico pattern that helps it blend with its rocky surroundings.

Fire Urchin
Photograph by Tim Laman

The spines of a fire urchin (Asthenosoma varium) form a multicolored flower off Komodo Island, Indonesia. The blue swellings on the tip of each spine are filled with venom. 

Sea Star and Crab
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

A small crab skitters across a brilliantly colored blue sea star in the western Pacific Ocean. 

Sea Urchin Spines
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

Found in the western Pacific, this sea urchin's blue-green spines branch out like tendrils from a plant. The long, movable spines protect the urchin from predators.
 

Sea Star Pair
Photograph by Michael Melford

Ochre sea stars, like this pair in Burnaby Narrows on the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, are normally purple but can adapt a wide variety of colors depending on individual habitat. 

Solomon Islands Sea Star
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

A necklace sea star rests on a reef in the Solomon Islands. Subspecies of this striking sea star are identified by differences in the plates that cover their dorsal side. 

 
Lavender Sea Star
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

A shockingly colored sea star clings to a reef off Bunaken Island in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Purple Sea Urchin
Photograph by Paul Nicklen

A sea urchin’s vivid purple spines appear ready for action in this close-up view from God’s Pocket Marine Provincial Park, British Columbia. 

Indonesian Sea Star
Photograph by Tim Laman

The pattern on this Indonesian sea star echoes the batik prints the Southeast Asian archipelago is known for. 

 Crab and Sea Urchin
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

A striped urchin crab (Zebrida adamsii) finds its place on a red sea urchin (Astropyga radiata) in the western Pacific.

 Pencil-Spined Urchin
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

The spines of the omnivorous pencil-spined urchin (Eucidaris thouarsii) extend outward from its body. There are some 700 species of sea urchins worldwide.

 Nardoa Frianti Sea Star
Photograph by Wolcott Henry

A close-up of a Nardoa frianti sea star in Sulawesi, Indonesia, shows this species' highly contoured dorsal side.

 

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