According to a new study conducted by a team of biology students from the University of Southern Denmark, starfish have the amazing ability of eliminating foreign objects by squeezing them out of their bodies.
The recent discovery could help scientists better understand how these amazing marine creatures are able to self-heal in a very short period of time.
Frederik Ekholm Gaardsted Christensen and Trine Bottos Olsen are the two young researchers who discovered the amazing ability of starfish almost by accident.
They were placing tags on several starfish so that scientists could identify them for future studies.
But when the researchers placed the identifying tags on the starfish, for some reason they tags did not remain inside the animals.
According to the scientists, every time they placed a tag inside a starfish, the sea creatures got rid of them in only a few days.
The researchers explained that the starfish pushed the tags out of their bodies through their skin.
Scientists know that several species of animals have the ability to reject foreign objects and push them out of their bodies, just like a splinter would be pushed out of a human’s finger only through body movements.
However, if a foreign object, such as a bullet, gets stuck inside the body of an animal and it gets lodged between its internal organs, the animal would find it difficult to eliminate the object and surgery is required.
The researchers explained that the starfish they examined did not try to eliminate the tags by pushing them back out of the region through where the tags had been injected.
Instead, they allowed the object to travel through its body until it reached the tip of the starfish’s arm.
Then the starfish would push out the foreign object through an opening at the end of its arms.
The discovery shows the difference in physiology between humans and starfish.
The sea creatures have an exoskeleton and a decentralized nervous system; they have eyes located at the very end of their arms.
However, similar to humans, their body has a cavity where the internal organs are located.
The researchers placed the tags inside the animals and they managed to push them out of themselves until the tags went out through the tips of their arm.
While previous studies have demonstrated that starfish have the amazing ability of regenerating themselves, this is the first research that shows these tiny creatures can expel foreign objects out of their bodies.
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