RSS Starfish digestion video proves these slow moving inverts are not so innocent

MASA Admin

8 May 2007
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The only thing potentially better than living comfortably between two shells, happy as a clam, is living in a tight cluster as a mussel. That is until your defenses are turned against you. The slow moving Pisaster starfish may not look like much but on temperate rocky habitats this invertebrate is the dominant species, the apex predator that literally shapes the population and distribution of mussels all over the ecosystem. Like many other starfish, Pisaster eat by exuding their stomach into the cavities of the animals they wish to digest.

In this case, film makers inserted a tiny camera into a mussel that was being preyed upon by the massive Pisaster starfish revealing the hidden carnage unfolding, literally. Once the*Pisaster breached the sanctity of the mussel’s shells it literally unfolds its stomach into and all over the soft parts of the mussel, releasing its digestive juices and literally consuming this mussel from the inside out. Man, what a way to go, but it still makes for a fascinating educational tool.
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