Sea stars used to be called “starfish” although they are not fish at all. They are echinoderms, members of the same club as sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea lilies, and sand dollars.
So, what is the difference between sea star and starfish? A sea star is a common name for starfish in many European languages while starfish are asteroids, star-shaped echinoderms. Starfish are invertebrates that live exclusively in marine and have a central disk and five arms.
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Comparison Table (Seastar vs Starfish)
|Meaning||Seastar is a common name used in European languages for describing starfish.||Refers to a marine echinoderm with five or more radiating arms.|
|Parts of the world where the name is used||Used in several European languages which include; French, Dutch, German, Spanish, and Swedish.||Used in other parts of the world.|
|Appropriate name||It is the appropriate name for asteroids.||It is less appropriate since asteroids are not real fish.|
What Is a Sea Star?
A sea star is a common name used in European languages to refer to a starfish. It is not an actual fish but they belong to the phylum Echinodermata. They are closely related to sea urchins and sea cucumbers. In various European languages, they are referred to as sea stars or stars of the sea.
Seastar is considered an appropriate name as the sea stars are not real fish. They are invertebrates that live exclusively in marine habitats. Like the other members, they have five-fold symmetry and move by means of hundreds of tiny, transparent, adhesive “tube feet”.
They are mostly carnivores and they prey on mollusks which include; clams, mussels, oysters. They use their suction-cupped feet to catch their prey.
What Is a Starfish?
A starfish is a marine echinoderm with five or more radiating arms. It is a common name used in most parts of the world to refer to animals in class Asteroidea. They are marine invertebrates and they belong to the phylum Echinodermata.
They have a central disk and five arms which are radial. They have tube feet underside the arms which helps them to move from one place to another. The tube feet are also used to open the shells of mollusks. Some species have more than five arms. The upper and lower surfaces can be spiny, granular, or smooth.
Most starfish species are brightly colored. They have various shades of orange, red, blue, brown, or gray. They are also carnivores and may live up to 35 years. They may regenerate their limbs or even the whole body.
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Main Differences between Sea Star and Starfish
- Seastar is a name used in European countries to refer to a starfish while starfish is a marine echinoderm with five or more radiating arms.
- Seastar is used in several European countries such as French, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, and Germany while starfish is used in various parts of the world.
- Seastar is an appropriate name for asteroids while starfish is less appropriate since it is not a real fish.
Similarities between Sea Star and Starfish
- They both belong to the same phylum and class.
- They are both carnivores.
- They both live in marine habitats.
- They are the two names used for the asteroids.
Seastar is a common name used to refer to asteroids in European languages while starfish is used to refer to these animals in other parts of the world. Starfish is not a real fish hence sea star or star of the sea is an appropriate name to be used to refer to these animals. The difference between the two is, part of the world where they use different names for the same animals.
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