Giant starfish with 8 limbs

Usually starfish only has five limbs. But this giant starfish has an amazing 8 limbs, makes him the world's first recorded octo-fish.

The starfish (also often called as Sea Star) lives on the rocky seabed at depths up to 600ft and is found in the Atlantic, the English Channel and the North Sea.

He was handed to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay after being found in a crab pot by a fisherman. "Starfish have the ability to re-grow lost limbs and the general consensus is that starfish with extra legs are caused by some kind of accidental genetic mutation," the Blue Reef Aquarium curator, Matt Slater said.

But close examination of Stan's anatomy after he was caught off the coast of Cornwall last week suggests he was born that way. Stan is a spiny starfish, one of several species found in British waters.

A normal starfish has a central disc which is effectively the creature's control centre, housing its mouth, stomach, a specialised water pump, and all its essential organs.

Stan boasts not one disc but two, fused together in a figure-of-eight shape, just like human conjoined or Siamese twins. He could be the product of a single egg and sperm which failed to separate properly early in the process of development.

He appears to be in perfect health and at ten inches in diameter, is bigger than the average specimen. In fact, his extra limbs could be an advantage at mealtimes, as they should make it easier to grab and prise open tasty mussels.

Named after the lines of bulbous spines that run along each arm, it is one of the most voracious members of the starfish family and feeds on a variety of both living and dead food including fish, shellfish, molluscs and other starfish.

Starfish use the power of hydraulics to move the hundreds of tiny sucker feet which line the bottom of each arm. Some eat prey which is too large by pushing their stomach out of their mouth and swallowing the food whole.

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