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Old 03-06-2005, 01:57 AM   #1
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Crown of thorn Starfish

I was watching a show today on the science channel about The Great Barrier Reef and how it's being distroyed by the outbreaks of crown of thorn starfish. I watch a lot of marine documentaries and specials, and have never heard of this before. Apparently they are a HUGE problem - as they eat only hard corals. Anyone else hear of this?

http://www.divegallery.com/crownofthorns.htm
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:06 AM   #2
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Yeah. They are not a constant threat, but in some conditions their numbers get high and represent a threat.

I heard an anecdote while studing, don't know if it falls into the urban legend category ..... but here goes.....

There were these researchers studing them to find out more. They had captured some from the reef to observe and study closely. When they were done they didn't want to release the back but also had the philosophy that if you take it out of the ocean then put it back. So they decided to blend them up in a blender and figured that small fish might appreciate the protien...... When you know how if you cut the limbs off a starfish they gorw new ones ...and the limbs can regenerate a new body. Well it turns out that some of these bits of crown of thorn starfish healed up and there were dozens of these guys every where. I think that the researchers were able to collect most of them back up as they threw the so called dead starfish close to their research station.....

Could be a story, but I heard it from my professor. hehehe
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Old 03-06-2005, 03:31 AM   #3
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I first saw a documentary on the crown of thorns back in the mid-seventies....sad to hear that they are still on the march.
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Old 03-06-2005, 03:52 AM   #4
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I some places divemaster are instructed to stab them with their dive knife on sight.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:45 PM   #5
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Yea I was watching it too , Large Conch's Eat them also those little shrimp eat them , hope they eat most of them , I love reefs
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Old 03-06-2005, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Well it turns out that some of these bits of crown of thorn starfish healed up and there were dozens of these guys every where. I think that the researchers were able to collect most of them back up as they threw the so called dead starfish close to their research station.....

Could be a story, but I heard it from my professor. hehehe
To the best of my knowledge, starfish need atleast 1/4 of their sieve plate( or central disk) to regrow legs. Without, there is nothing there that can be used to regrow them. I just studied this in my bio lab two weeks ago, where we disected a star. Seems impossible if you ask me. This knowledge coming from MY professor. LOL.

So I guess if you did it just right, you could from 5 starfish from one.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:48 AM   #7
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That was my understanding. I would love to heard other verification, ie from the people involved. But I am sure they would be to embarrased to say.

I also heard you can tissue culture starfish similar as they do with plants, from just one cell.
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:27 AM   #8
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Holy cats. That reminds me of the bad liquid metal terminator when he got blown to bits and all the pieces started growing back together again. I always thought starfish needed a specific portion of their own body in order to reproduce limbs. If you can create more from pieces, then it would seem to be a cheap (but painful?)alternative to buying multiple specimens.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:50 PM   #9
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well, when i was watching the documentary - they were explaining how they have a dive team that kills them by injecting them with a concoction that has the same toxin they use to digest their food - but they said that if they didn't inject each arm with the toxin, the starfish would be able to grow back.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:35 AM   #10
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for those people who have ever scuba dived you will know how incredible and diverse the range of life can be... i have seen the destructive #@$^ starfish in action while on a scuba trip on the GBR. it honestly brought me to tears(while under water), the destruction is beyond belief. the GBR is under great danger, more than most realise. the pictures you get on tv don't do the situation any justice, its far worse than made out. as far as the reef goes it will survive against the starfish its too large not to, otherthings like global warming will conquer it well before the starfish has a chance, although the starfish will NEVER be removed from the reef the numbers will be controlled to an extent but they will still spread!

and unfortunaley $$$$$ plays a huge part in control... and hopefully science may prevail...
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