|Wonderful Image by Krystle D|
|Image by Werner Wittersheim|
|Image by Ria Tan (Wild Singapore)|
|Image by Pau Estrada|
|Image by TVN|
|Image by RJAdams55|
|Image from Iamheretokelp|
3. Archaster typicus
This treats the two specimens at the top of the "wreath".. these are another species which is widely occuring the tropical Pacific.
4. Sand Dollars: Mellita spp.
Mellita spp. are from the tropical Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, etc. in shallow water.
Sand dollars are sea urchins! And here's more on that. Those holes in the body (ie. the skeleton also known as the test) are called lunules and they are pretty nifty.
Another commonly encountered species in holiday decorations. Sand dollars, especially these species have the most "benefit of the doubt" because its not unusual to encounter their dead skeletons as beach wash.
Although one has to wonder how much collecting one needs to have enough to create a regularly marketable wreath such as the ones I've been seeing marketed on the Internet...
I'm pretty damn amazed at just how WIDESPREAD these get via the tourist industry. I've literally seen these sand dollars shipped across the country and across the WORLD for sale at tourist shops.
Here is what they look like with all the original spination and such...
5. Echinometrid? "Sea urchin tree"?
Maybe Echinometra from Australia? Not sure. Like sea urchins, the tests can be gotten as beachwash.. but not regularly. So, I'm thinking these were likely harvested...
|Image from NOAA photo library|
So to recap:
1. Starfish decorations are mummified remains of living animals, which had to be killed in order to get you a holiday wreath. I wouldn't lick them.
2. Many of the species used in these industries from the tropical Pacific are probably not sustainable fisheries.
3. Personally, I just think decorating starfishes like Santa Claus is tacky. So, please. just stop. Use sea shells or give people candy. People like candy.
4. Sand dollars are okay. Still possible to kill them for use as decorations. But also possible that they were collected beachwash.
5. Good grief. Who pays 150 dollars for holiday decorations made from beachwash??? or mummified starfish remains??? You know what's good for 150 dollars? chocolate.Send to the Echinoblog. Or charity. charity is good.