One of the most sought after treasures on any ocean beach is the starfish. (At the bottom of this post I have included a free, printable coloring page download for you.) Along with the sand dollar, I believe it is an exciting addition to any seashell collection. You could happen upon a starfish (or sea star) at any salt water shoreline, but you won’t find any in fresh water. Most often they are in shallow pools or clinging to rocks at the water line, but they can also live in deep water.
Sea stars are not “fish” and not seashells. They are part of the echinoderm family like the sea urchin and sea cucumber and even the coveted sand dollar. When we think of starfish most likely an image of a white creature with 5 legs comes to mind, but you may be surprised to know that they can have 40 or more legs and come is all colors, shapes and sizes.
Be sure to take your camera to the beach so you can get some photos of the living starfish, but don’t try to take them home. In many places collecting living sea life is against the law and if you try to keep live sea stars or any inhabited seashells, they will stink horribly, so just don’t do it! If you are lucky enough to find a dried out, brittle star then by all means take it with you.
I have written a page, Starfish Are Sea Stars, and have included pictures of various types of starfish along with an interesting video. Watch a 9-legged sea star right itself after being “flipped” and then add your comment to the list of commenters who have voiced their opinion about “messing with wildlife”. By the way, I did not take the video. I found it online and thought it was interesting. I’d love to hear your opinion.
And I hope you enjoy this sea star coloring page. It is free for personal or educational use (not for selling). Right click, download and save.