What do Starfish Eat? Best to Know Everything 2021

What do Starfish Eat? Starfish are all species belonging to the Phylum Asteroidea. They are very interesting animals that we can find almost all over the world and with a very different appearance depending on the subspecies to which they belong. There are approximately 2,000 different species irrigated throughout the world, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic Oceans. It is the best-known group of marine species of all on the seabed.

What do Starfish Eat

Characteristics of The Starfish!

Its most relevant characteristic is that it has a central disk and five or more arms surrounding it, depending on the typeThey exist in a wide variety of bright colors such as reds, various shades of orange, and darker colors such as blue, brown, gray, or even black.

Another curious characteristic of starfish is the fact that they can regenerate. If a starfish were to lose an arm, another will grow in the same place. Even if the arm that was lost had a piece of the central disk, another starfish can be generated from the lost organ.

Most are 12 to 24 centimeters in diameter, but there are some that can measure less than 2 centimeters and others that can be more than 1 meter in diameter.

There are species of starfish that have walking feet that help to dig and dig up the oysters, and then force the mollusk to open its valves, weakening its abductor organ, when the opening is just 1 mm, the cardiac stomach takes advantage and starts the digestion process of oysters and their soft tissues.

Your digestive system is made up of two stomachs, a cardiac one, and a pyloric stomach. The heart leaves the body of the star and digests the food outside, this makes it easier for the star to consume larger animals such as oysters, clams, mollusks, and fish.

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Starfish Feeding

Everything will depend on the kind of starfish it is, but they are all predators that do not miss any opportunity to consume invertebrates. Others feed through suspension, this means that they make the most of the phytoplankton that is suspended in the water and the nutrients of the marine substrate, plant matter in a state of decomposition, or of organic sheets adhered to the substrates.

Others, classes such as the Brisingida, feed only on sponges or plankton and the organic particles that are in suspension. Acanthaster planci consume coral polyps and are part of the food chain of coral reefs.

What do Starfish Eat

Some starfish do not base their diet on meat alone and balance their diet by consuming algae, sponges, coral, carrion, and organic detritus.

Some starfish have special organs to facilitate the capture of prey and their feeding; For example, Pisasterbrevispinus, from the Pacific coast of the United States, uses a set of specialized tube feet to dig deep into soft substrates and thus obtain its prey (usually clams). Once the shellfish are removed, the starfish slowly opens the shell, weakening and exhausting its abductor’s muscle, and then inserts its heart stomach into the opening and thus be able to devour the soft tissues. In order for the cardiac stomach to gain entry, the opening/gap between the valves only has to be a fraction of a millimeter wide.

Although starfish seem completely harmless, we have to know that they are normally carnivorous, so one of the foods they tend to occasionally eat is other starfish, but they also love fish, mussels, snails, anemones, decomposing matter, and some another surprising being.

What do starfish eat?


Mussels are one of the favorite foods that are part of the diet of starfish and that they always have more at hand.
you will think about how they can eat them … we will tell you in our category » How do sea stars eat  «

Sea cucumbers

Another of the foods that starfish-like are sea cucumbers that are also found in the aquatic environment


Very similar to mussels, but clams can escape by blowing air into the water and propelling themselves.

Sea urchins

Sea urchins are among the preferred foods for starfish and are usually neighbors.

Sea stars

Starfish also eat other starfish if necessary, because they no longer seem so innocent to you !!!!


Small fish are also included in the diet of our friends the sea stars. Did you imagine it?

Decomposing matter

Some types of starfish have another type of food and their favorite and exclusive food is decaying matter.

what do starfish eat

Did you expect all this amount of dishes in the feeding of the starfish ??, it seems impossible that it can eat some of them.

They can also become scavengers as we can see in the following video in which we can see a starfish giving a good account of an octopus.

Just as starfish have certain predators that have them in their food chain, these, in turn, eat other living beings in order to survive.

If you are interested in knowing which animals eat starfish, you can see our page PREDATORS OF STARFISH

Starfish, myths, and truths

What do Starfish Eat


Many of us have heard of starfish on numerous occasions, and we have even witnessed what a starfish looks like on more than one occasion. However, there are many characteristics that starfish present that we still do not know and that we will try to understand below. 

First of all, we must point out that starfish are not fish, they are echinoderms that belong to the Asteroids family, which can be similar to sea urchins. In general, there are approximately 1,5000 to 2,000 species of starfish on the entire planet. 

Where the starfish is born

Starfish are marine animals that only live in salty waters. These marine species can be found in all the world’s oceans, both in tropical environments and in cold environments. In addition, starfish can inhabit very deep spaces, such as 6,000 meters below the surface, even in intertidal areas.

What do Starfish Eat

Who is the predator of the starfish

As an important note, we must emphasize that most species of starfish are not in danger of extinction. There are a large number of these marine species so it is highly unlikely that starfish will disappear over time.

However, there are many predators that hover around starfish, such as gulls, crabs, sea lions, newts,   etc. In addition, high temperatures become a very important threat for these marine species since starfish can rarely endure temperatures above 23º.

How the starfish breathes

The breathing in starfish is very characteristic. These marine species develop osmosis respiration, which allows gas exchange between hemolymph and water. It should also be noted that the respiration of starfish occurs thanks to the tubular feet and papules, which are found on the body of this marine being.

How to keep a starfish

What do Starfish Eat

Starfish have become an object of desire for many people, so much so that it is common to find these marine species as decoration in many homes. To conserve a starfish we have to follow the following steps:

1.- First of all, we have to make sure that the starfish is not alive.  One of the characteristics of this being is that they are very slow so it is important to pay attention to it and in the event that they show any sign of life, it is best to return it to its natural habitat.

2.- Although it is not essential, <strong> the most normal thing is to clean the starfish, well with soap and water. It is advisable not to rub it too much, since starfish are very fragile Subsequently, it is very important to keep it in isopropyl alcohol between 30-48 hours

3.- Drying process. It is convenient to dry starfish in the sun, but be careful, they tend to curl when they dry so it is important to flatten them gently. Once this is done, we can display it wherever we want, but yes, it is convenient to monitor, especially the arms to prevent them from curling up again.

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