The Physiology of Arm Regeneration in Starfish (Asteroidea)

By: Victoria P. Beamer

     

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-Anatomy of Starfish

Introduction

Regeneration

- Energetics

- Stages of Regeneration

Physiological Aspects

- Nerve Representation

Model Organism

External Links

Vocabulary

Literatures Sited

 

 

 

This picture was used with the permission of Mike Griffiths-- www.leadinganswers.com 

Asteroidea are a species known for their ability to regenerate limbs after they have been removed. Ateroidea is a subclass of the class Stelleroidea with over 1800 species and range in size from about 0.4 to 40 in. (10 mm to 1 m) across. Asteroidea, starfish, are characterized by their flexible rays that join at the central disk which plays a key role in regeneration. Starfish undergo metamorphasis to develop into the adut form. Stafish inhabit many ocean floors and seas throughout the world. Many burrow into the sand or mud, while lie on rocks or coral reefs. The typical diet of a starfish consists of scallops, oysters and mussels (15).


Starfish have a rigid external surface, made of ciliated epithelium, known as the test. Their hard exterior also includes pedicellariae, which assists them in warding off predators. Underneath there are connective tissues and muscles which form the hydrostatic skeleton and can be rigid or flexible depending on the species. Reproductive organs are located in all limbs of the starfish. Some brood the eggs, after the male and female have released their gametes into the environment, and hatching may take place in the stomach, the mouth, or a special marsupium (15). Some starfish also reproduce by transverse asexual fission, while others. Mussels are the most common prey for starfish and is made possible by their tube feet-- cracking open the shell with suction (1).

Anatomy of a Starfish

 

 

 

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