Saturday, August 01, 2015

All the little mouths

They bite.

Close view of a starfish's busy coat.

Solid white spines, translucent gills, and the biting pedicellariae; all those little open jaws.

I've been spending time sitting in front of the tank, chasing an annoying white crab, and noticed interactions between the mottled star and the other residents. The starfish wanders about slowly, minding his own business (finding something more to eat), ignoring anything not edible. He can afford to be complacent; he's wearing his own security guard.

A hermit crab passes him, and touches - just barely - an arm of the star, and immediately yanks away his pincer and backs off. The little annoying crab swats at anything that comes near him, like a kitten does. Unless it's the starfish. He raises a pincer to hit it, remembers, changes his mind, and goes to hide under a shell.

I watched as a few grains of sand fell onto the back of the starfish. They immediately started to move up over the arm, and off the other side.

The pedicellariae are at work.

More on the crab, later. I'm trying to get a photo of the shape of his carapace, but I'm sure he recognizes the camera already; he runs away as soon as he sees it.

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