Habitat and Distribution
Starfish or sea stars are found in most of temperate and tropical oceans of the world. They are exclusively marine and are bottom dwellers.
Sea stars are found in a variety of habitats from the intertidal zone down to the bottom of deep seas but they are mainly found in shallow marine environments.
They are found in sand, amongst rubble and on coral reefs and rocky bottoms below low tide as well as in estuaries and under the sand on beaches.
Fossil sea stars were first found in the fossil record in rocks of late Ordivician to early Silurian in age (about 430 million years old). They are thought to have evolved from crinoids. Sea star skeletons are easily broken up so they do not frequently appear as fossils.
Website created by Jenny Stevenson - June 2006.