Chocolate Chip Sea Star or Horned Sea Star

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Description

The Chocolate Chip Sea Star or Horned Sea Star (Protoreaster Nodosus), is a species of sea star found in the warm, shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific region. The Chocolate Chip Sea Star or Horned Sea Star possess rows of spines or “horns”, black conical points arranged in a single row, radially on the dorsal side, which may erode and become blunt. These dark protrusions are used to scare away possible predators, by looking frightening or dangerous. On the ventral side, tube feet, purple in color (or pale, transparent pink), are arranged in rows on each arm.

Most horned sea stars found are a roughly rigid five-pointed star-shape with tapering arms to the end, although there are anomalies like four or six-armed specimens; they may grow up to 12″ inches in diameter. The Chocolate Chip Sea Star or Horned Sea Star are usually colored in shades of red or brown, but can be light tan, the color of cookie dough. This appearance, combined with the small horns on its dorsal side, give the sea star a look similar to that of a bumpy cookie.

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