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Sea Star Skin - an abstract painting

Sea Star Skin – I saw a sea star the other day which always makes me happy.

I took a picture, but it wasn’t until I zoomed in on the image at home that I realized how awesome their skin can be! I mean, just look at that. This sea star wanders around the tidal zone wearing an abstract painting. The grey circular object near the center of the star is a madreporite, which is a sieve or perforated plate by which the entry of seawater into the water-vascular system of a sea star is controlled. The sea water vascular system functions a bit like our vascular system and is also used to provide pneumatic pressure to extend the sea stars tube feed. I have added the picture of the entire sea star so you can see the context of the close up.

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