The Star with Two Dozen Arms

(photo: S. Jeffries)

Don’t let the gentle name of the sunflower star fool you – these giant sea stars are voracious predators of the kelp forest.  Wielding 24 arms and growing to sizes of over three feet across, Pycnopodia helianthoides is a fearsome force to be reckoned with for its prey of urchins, snails, clams – even other sea stars.  When you have that many arms, you don’t have to play nice. 

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