The name “starfish” indicates marine life of the class Asteroidea that live on the ocean floor, especially near rocky shores. There are about 2000 species of starfish, which often have very different habits. Almost all of them have the same physical structure: five identical arms joined to a central body. . This structure resembles the stylized image of a star, hence the name. The female starfish can lay more than 2 million eggs a year onto which the male sprays his seed The females of some species protect their brood, while others abandon their offspring. At birth, a starfish is less than a millimeter long. For a few days they swim and eat plankton, which are tiny organisms suspended in the the ocean. As the starfish grow they sink to the ocean floor and begin to mature. Adult species of starfish differ in size . The distance between two opposite arms can range from 3 cm [Asterina gibbous ] to 70 cm. The starfish moves by stretching and retracting its arms. It navigates using its senses of touch , taste and smell. It has no eyes, but many species have organs that distinguish light from dark. Some starfish continue to subsist on plankton or coral, but for the most part starfish are carnivorous. They hunt crustaceans, molluscs and sea urchins . They land on their prey and open its shell with their arms. The starfish then expel their stomach through their mouth. The victim is digested outside their body.. After digestion, the starfish swallows its own stomach back in. Starfish have few enemies. The main one is a large mollusc called Charonia tritonis, who may engage in fierce struggles with the starfish and try to devour it. Starfish have a great capacity for regenerating their arms if they become detached. They can grow back very quickly. Not only that, sometimes a detached arm can generate a brand new starfish. Because of this unique feature, the starfish has entered the technical lexicon of modern sociology. . We refer to a "starfish structure" when a system made up of individual parts can survive, reproduce and act without a central control system. The internet, for example, with its thousands of independent branches, can continually recreate or regenerate itsel. Exactly like the arms of a starfish.
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