They Could Be Twins! Sea Stars, Star-Shaped Leaves and Look-alike Nature
I've been thinking about stars all week long. The nights are getting colder, the air crisper, the skies more alluring with twinkling stars. I've also been thinking a lot about how things are related. (Coming soon: a post on camouflage that I'm super excited about!)
So, thinking about stars led me to sea stars. When I was little, my family spent a lot of summers in Maine where I played in tide pools. Sea stars were a common sight. They're also super cool. Here are the fast facts on sea stars: they can regrow lost arms, have no brains, no blood, and they can essentially vomit their stomach outside of their bodies to eat. Ummm.... what?
I'm not sure which fact about sea stars is the coolest. Sea stars use filtered sea water where humans have blood. Instead of a brain, they have a system of nerves that runs throughout their bodies. And, if an arm is cut off, they can regrow it through a process called regeneration.
Most sea stars have 5 arms, although with over 2,000 species of sea stars, there's also a lot of variety, including the number of arms!
These sea stars, which I found on a beach in California, all have 5 arms.
When I was hiking last weekend, I kept seeing all kinds of leaves with 5 parts. I kept thinking about how much those leaves look just like sea stars. Here are a few of the leaves I found.
Leaves, Photo Credits: Liz Summit, 2015
All of this made me think about how we can find things that are so very different--thin, papery leaves falling like confetti this autumn and the colorful sea creatures that defy imagination--and still see similarities between them! So, even when I'm walking in the forest, far from the ocean, I still find myself thinking about the sea!