GIANT PINK STAR
Pisaster brevispinus (Stimpson, 1857)
5 thick, heavy-set arms and bulky disc. Aboral surface rough due to numerous short spines. Pink. To 99 cm (39 in) across.
Sitka, Alaska to central California; intertidal to 182 m (600 ft).
A typical GIANT PINK STAR. Note the uniformly pink colour and numerous short spines.
The stiff, heavy-set arms are round in cross section.
This specimen is eating a clam, a favourite prey.
The humped-up feeding posture.
This monster was found off Saltspring Island, BC, and is the largest I've ever found. It measured 91 cm (36 in) across. (Kevin VanCleemput photo)
This GIANT PINK STAR was captured by a SUNFLOWER STAR, which occasionally eats other stars.
This monster was found (and released unharmed) in Port Moody Arm near Vancouver by Rod MacVicar. It measured 99 cm (3.2ft) across, the largest pink star recorded to date. Photo courtesy Ruth Foster, Pacific Wildlife foundation.
1 - 7
On soft substrates it digs deep pits and captures clams by greatly elongating the tube-feet near its mouth and grasping the bivalves. On rocky substrates it often eats giant barnacles. It is one of the world's largest and heaviest sea stars: big ones can weigh more than 4.5 kg (10 lb).