One of the first “seashells” I wrote about on this blog was the starfish. However, it is not a seashell but echinoderm and is related to the sea urchin, sea cucumber and sand dollar. In other words, they don’t have a hard shell. If you find dried starfish, they can break easily.
Where I live in Florida I have never found a starfish, living or dead. But the State Park I visit has specimens of Florida starfish under glass. In fact, near the rest rooms, they have all kinds of dried and dead things. One item looked like the huge head of a sea turtle! I should have taken a photo – maybe next time.
Starfish live offshore, as do most mollusks with shells. But starfish and other echinoderms are not as sturdy as a hard shell and therefore most likely break apart because of wave action once they are dead. I find pieces of sand dollars near Ponce Inlet and sometimes at the drive-on ocean beach, but I think dead starfish are pulverized before they get to the beach.
Get more info on the 9-legged (or 9-armed) starfish (Luidia senegalensis) at this site which mentions that they are found mainly from the Sebastian Inlet south on the Eastern side of Florida. This is south of where I live. They are also found on the West coast and in the Keys and on down to Brazil.
My Drawings Are Free For Personal Use
Please help yourself to the printable images below and maybe use them as a teaching page / coloring page for the kids. As long as you do not sell my images, use them as you please. Make copies for friends and classroom use. A link back here is appreciated when the chance arises.
I’m no expert on marine life, and certainly not on starfish. The Florida Fish and Wildlife site has a full page, with photos of living creatures and links to each Marine Life Invertebrates including a few starfish. It’s an interesting page.