Echinodermata! Starfish! Sea Urchins! Sea Cucumbers! Stone Lillies! Feather Stars! Blastozoans! Sea Daisies!
Marine invertebrates found throughout the world's oceans with a rich and ancient fossil legacy. Their biology and evolution includes a wide range of crazy and wonderful things. Let me share those things with YOU!
Yes, some of the more experienced aquarists are probably saying "But I have seen and fed this species clam meat (or fish or whatever) before..." And yes-that may be true-but honestly, how long do those animals live after that???
My guess is that feeding L. laevigata clams without any of their primary food-would be like feeding any human pork rinds for a whole year. It might be "food" but it would be a slow death...
3. Linckia laevigata plays host to a multitude of other animals (both parasitic & commensal)
There are actually quite a few OTHER invertebrates that live either as commensals or as outright parasites on L. laevigata.
I've reactions by people that this is some kind of bad thing. Truth is, these critters would only be found on a healthy animal. Discovering one of these is basically like an extra bonus-so, best to leave em' be...
Probably one of the most noticeable is Thyca crystallina-a parastic snail that lives attached to the (usuallly oral) surface of an individual starfish. Data on this relationship can be found here in a paper by Hugh Elder (1979). The snails are attached to the coelom via a proboscis.
Most of these attached shells are apparently female and the degree of infection of Thyca tends to be correlated with the degree of water movement with more active water associated with fewer Thyca per individual Linckia..