Color Challenge Sunday - Purple

in #ssglifelast year (edited)

Pisaster Ochraceus - The Purple Sea Star

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Photo by @dfinney Jan. 2010

The purple sea star (or starfish) used to be one of the most prolific creatures living along North America’s western shore. Found in the Pacific Ocean’s intertidal zone, the purple sea star is a keystone species for its habitat and a top predator feasting upon sea urchins and mussels. Their territory extends from Alaska in the north down to Mexico’s Baja California.

The past several years have been a struggle for this species.

Beginning in 2013, this sea star, along with 20 other species, began dying off at an unheard of rate. The culprit was determined to be a disease called Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. While the cause of the illness is still undetermined (Virus? Climate Change? Bacteria?), the syndrome basically causes the rapid decay and melting away of the sea star’s body. Some photos of the sad progression may be found HERE.

But all is not lost for this lovely echinoderm.

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So purple. 💜

During recent surveys conducted in Washington State’s San Juan Islands, population numbers of the purple sea star have made a comeback! 481healthy specimens were counted at a site on Orcas Island. This included both purple and orange sea stars which had also seen their populations decimated. Scientists hope a resistance may be developing to the disease.

So next time you are at the coast, take a moment to admire these resilient predators.

💜 dfinney


This post is part of the color challenge, originated here on Steemit by @kalemandra. To learn more about the color challenge visit her post HERE.


The photos in this post were taken by me on Washington State’s Lopez Island in 2010.



This post originally appeared on my Narrative Blog August 23, 2019.😊


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Nice article

Thank you @anirus!

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Great post! My question: does @silverd510 love the color purple?
Have a wonderful evening, my lovely sis @dfinney, and take care🥰🌺🤙

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😂🤣😂😂 No. Well I don’t know. He might. But the dedication to silverd is for another reason. I’ll tell you off of the blockchain. 😉 😂🤣

Thats spectacular!!!
I have never seen one of these yet, the next time me and the Mrs get to go somewhere on the coast, I will be sure to look for one!!

We used to see a lot in the Edmonds marina. Not as much anymore. Hopefully that will change.

They are beautiful, I'll keep a look out on our next trip to the bay😀

Very informative and enlightening. I've not seen one of these, but then I spend most of my time in the mountains. I would love to see a purple starfish. Besides, purple is my favorite color! Thank you for sharing.

I feel like while the ocean and the mountains are both great some people are energized more by the wildness of the forest and others more by the sea. I am definitely drawn to the water the most. 😊

These starfish used to be all over. It has been a bit since I saw one. I might need to walk down to the marina and have a look under the Boardwalk today.

Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Let me know if you see another. I rarely get out to Birch Bay but if I do, I will have to look and see if there's one. Have a wonderful night and a perfect Thursday!!

I don't think I have ever seen a purple starfish before now.

It’s crazy how something can be common and you never really take notice, then when said thing becomes rarer it gives you a chance to be more impressed by it than before. Near my house there is a good spot for spotting star fish and sea cucumbers. I think they come in and out seasonally though. I might have to check it out when the tide is lower.

We did see a seal on New Year’s though... so that was cool!

What a beautiful creature and great to read it is having a comeback

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