The Starfish Dissection
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- Aboral Surface
The front side of the starfish on the opposite side of
- Ambulacral Spines
Joined together by membranes to form a fan-like area
along each side of the ambulacral grooves.
Small muscular sax that bulge into the aboral side of the
There are normally five arms, not by the branching of the
original ten arms, but the budding of new arms following
the shedding of the original ones.
- Axial Glands
Breaks up nutritious matter so it can be used by the
- Linked to the esophagus, the caradiac stomach is a
stomach that covers almost all of the disc.
- Starfish's sex organ. When filled with egg or sperm, they
fill the whole arm, depending on the time of spawning.
An opening to receive food.
- Oral Surface
The other half of the body wall which contains calcareous
plates, which are unique among invertibrae skeletons.
This is formed by and lodged in the mesoderm layer.
Eruptions from the skin which in turn form spines, and
pincer-like, food grasping, and skin cleansing tools.
(Note these functions are only in asteroids and
- A smaller stomach which gives nutrition to the body
- Canal that gives structure to the arms.
- Hold waste products and prepares them to go out the anus.
- Sieve Plate (Madreporite)
Covered by a protective layer of the body's surface. The
bottom of each furrow contains pores (as many as 250) and
canals constructed like a sieve located near the center
- Skin Gills (Dermal Branchiae)
Soft bumps on the skin between the spines.
- Canal that descends to the oral side of the starfish.
- Tube Feet (Podium)
Suctorials (like a suction cup) which help the starfish
to walk on the sea floor. These feet are located on the
Water Vascular System
- System of canals and appendages of the body wall. Lined
with ciliated epithelium. Acts as a hydraulic system
Revised: August 03, 1997.
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