Our animals

Red knobbe starfish

Red knobbe starfish


LatinProtoreaster lincki
Size30 cm
FoodSoft corals, sponges & clams
HabitatCoral reef
LocationWestern Pacific

Looks like a plastic starfish

When you see the red knob starfish, you might think that it is not real, but it is. It looks a bit like coral. This helps protect it from predators that want to eat it.

Lots of feet

The common starfish has a flat body with 5 arms. The lower surfaces of the arms have small tube feet. The tube feet are important for the common starfish: It uses them to walk, to hold onto things with them and open bivalve shells, and to eat the bivalves.

Slow eater

The common starfish is a slow hunter. When it wants to eat a bivalve, it encircles it with its arms. It separates the shell valves and inserts a fold of its stomach between the shells and secretes its stomach enzymes. This stomach enzyme weakens the bivalve and the common starfish starts to digest its body. You can see the stomach on the picture here.

An eye on each arm

At the tip of each arm, the starfish has a tiny red dot. This is a small eye. The common starfish can see the difference between light and dark but cannot see details.