Common name: Northern Pacific Seastar. Scientific name: Asterias amurensis. Class: Asteroidea
Northern Pacific Seastar: I know, I know, some you are reeling in indignation… while the rest of you are looking at this marvelous specimen, exclaiming in joy ‘ooh, pretty colours!’
For, it is true, this is not a fish. For a fish is a ‘limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animal with gills and fins and living wholly in water’ and a starfish is a ‘marine echinoderm with five or more radiating arm’.
We wanted to take this opportunity to educate you all on this distinction. So there.
This pretty specimen lives up to five years and can reach sizes up to 40 to 50 cm in diameter. Interestingly, it is native to the coasts of northern China, Korea, Russia and Japan and is an invasive species in Australia. Rumour has it that it was accidentally introduced to our shores in the 1980s.
Really, how does a STARFISH get accidentally introduced to a country? Perhaps a Chinese fisherman got a little lost and happened to drop his beloved pet overboard near Tassie?
My theory is that they’re actually highly intelligent alien beings from the planet Starileous, here to spy on us.
Watch your back.