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Archive for the ‘What I’m googling’ Category

Little E brought home a book from preschool on Thursday that had different kinds of “animals” from A-Z.  Quite a comprehensive book for a preschooler but we read through most of it.  We came upon the “S” section and one of the “animals” was a starfish.  The blurb that it gave about a starfish was that it didn’t have a brain and that it uses it’s suction cup like “arms” to move around.

starfish
Huh?  A starfish doesn’t have a brain?  Then how does it function?  I’ve been pondering this for the past few days.  I asked hubby and he didn’t know so I decided to google it.

This is what I found out:

Nervous system

While starfish lack a centralized brain,[36] their bodies have complex nervous systems which are coordinated by what might be termed a distributed brain. They have a network of interlacing nerves, a nerve plexus, which lies within, as well as below, the skin.[27] The oesophagus is also surrounded by a central nerve ring, which sends radial nerves into each of the arms, often parallel with the branches of the water vascular system. These all connect to form a brain. The ring nerves and radial nerves coordinate the starfish’s balance and directional systems.[31]

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish

Also found this from a different source:

The starfish does not have a brain it is made up of nerve cells that control it’s functions.  A starfish doesn’t have a brain in its head like we do. Instead their entire nervous system acts like a distributed brain. So, it has a brain, just not like ours.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_a_starfish_have_a_brain

Also found out that they are now calling them sea stars because they are not actually a fish.  Hmmm interesting.

So there ya go….just in case you were ever wondering…or didn’t know…you can tell your mom that you learned something new today.

Laura

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