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Short-spined Sea Star Pisaster brevispinus


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Short-spined Sea Star
credit: jkirkhart25/CCSA

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Category: Seastars and relatives view all from this category

Description Pisaster brevispinus, commonly called the Pink Sea Star, Giant Pink Sea Star, or Short-spined Sea Star, is a Pacific Ocean sea star.

The Pink Star is a very unusual color, a bright shade of pink. Although such a color would lead to the species being eaten regularly in darker-colored environments, it blends right in to its bright coral reef home. The Pink Star can reach a diameter of two feet while weighing up to two pounds, and has spines less than 2mm long. It has a soft, flabby texture that allows it to bend slightly to stay on coral.

Pisaster brevispinus is usually found on sand or mud substrate where it catches its prey such as clams or sand dollars. Smaller individuals are sometimes seen on rocks or pilings where they prey on mussels, barnacles, and tubeworms. This species is also known to scavenge on dead fish and squid. The giant pink sea star does not tolerate being out of water very well, so it is generally found on the beach only during very low tides. It usually lives at a depth of 600 feet.