Sea Stars Dying

The Keystone species

You may know you're sea stars to have five arms, but many sea stars that you don't commonly see can have up to 10, 20, or 40 arms. However many sea stars are losing their arms and causing them to die off in the oceans and eventually go away. There are several causes ,and one theory of the problem. There are also many threats, and how they are an important species in the ecosystems .

The Causes

There are many theories to the cause of sea stars dying. The cause has been spreading rapidly throughout the oceanic ecosystems of starfish. In addition , almost more than 12 different species of sea stars have been a main target to the illness.

On the other hand there are many theories to this passing of the starfish. One could be lesions- and injury of and type of region in an organ that is affected by a disease- that has been spread out through the starfishes body. Some other options could be of toxins , (a venom to a plant or animal organ) or a virus. However one main problem was found to cause the star fish to die off. The cause almost has all the predicted theories, known as the sea stars wasting syndrome.

Wasting syndrome

Wasting syndrome is a disease mainly found in sea stars causing them to turn to ¨goo¨. First the animals filtering system fails and becomes limp,

Then eventually causing the sea stars arms and legs to twist and fall off.

Mainly the sea stars become so unhealthy that afterwards they die of in almost the the least at 24 hours in a sticky and slimy substance.

Wasting disease will and can be presented in individuals that are found in stable habitat. The virus could be presented anywhere where a healthy / not healthy sea stars.


Other Threats

There are still other threats helping out with the syndrome getting to sea stars. Some Like pollution. The pollution can get into the waters, then eventually getting into sea stars filtering system. In their filtering system it is very complex, so after getting into the filtering system the system eventually fails also causing problems to the starfishes body,

Also warm waters of 2013 also affect the starfish. At this level starfish prefer cooler waters, and because of the warm waters that then forced them to migrate out to further waters far from the beaches. Additionally the populations of their prey will boom and overfill the beaches.


Keystone species

Sea stars a known to be a keystone species to the oceanic ecosystems. They are a main species because the minimize populations of many clams, sea cucumbers, and crabs, without sea stars ecosystems will change..

Also the food chain will change from top to bottom.

The sea stars prey will go wild, and animals like sharks and other bony fish tend to eat sea stars from the seafloor when inned of a snack when can't find other sources of food.



Sea stars are an incredible species, but with letting illnesses kill them, and threats causing them to go away , the key stone species will no longer be around. Furthermore without are legged friends all ocean ecosystems will change and turn the ocean upside down. Again with no help sea stars will die off even faster . ¨One is not born to do everything , but to do something . . . ¨- Henry David Thoreau. So you can also do something to make a difference to save starfish .