Sunflower Seastar found at the Stornetta Public Lands

Will Ericson was exploring the tide pools at the Stornetta Public Lands at low tide. He ducked into a cave and discovered this Sunflower Seastar, Pycnopodia helianthoides.

This Sea Star is the largest sea star in the world, growing to more than three feet across. Will said this one was more than a foot across. They eat clams and snails but prefer sea urchins. A lovely "meadow" of sea urchins was nearby. They usually have between 16 and 24 limbs. It *looks* like this one has 21.

I thank Will for allowing me to share his unusual sighting with you here.

To see more photos of the Stornetta Lands at low tide, here's a link to a previous post: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2012/02/18/low-tide-at-the-stornetta-public-lands-in-point-arena-breathtaking/

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