Coast & Sea Areas

Wild Harris

Regrowing Lost Body Parts

Link to Common Starfish

Regrowing lost parts

If you were unlucky enough to lose a body part, say a finger or even a whole arm, there's not much you can do about it. Some marine animals however have amazing powers of regeneration. If a starfish loses an arm, it simply grows another one. Even crabs and lobsters have this ability, in fact they have special muscles that let them break off a limb deliberately. If a predator has grabbed them by the leg and won't let go, they can release the leg and escape, leaving the limb behind. A new leg will begin to grow beneath the hard shell, and next time the crab or lobster sheds its skin the new leg will make an appearance. Each time this happens the leg will be a bit bigger than before until it reaches its full size and looks like the original leg. If you find a crab or lobster with a leg or claw that's much smaller than normal, you will know that this limb was once lost and is in the process of being replaced. 

 marthasterias regenerating arms.jpg(Photo: Paul Tyler) 

A spiny startfish regrowing 2 arms

 luidia regenerating.jpg(Photo: Paul Tyler) 

4 of the arms of this 7 armed starfish are growing back.

luidia regenerating 2.jpg(Photo: Paul Tyler) 

Sometimes just a piece of an arm needs regrowing...

by Paul Tyler

Link to Common Starfish

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