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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.
This delicate feather star is resting on a piece of coral.
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Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography

Echinoderms

The most widely known echinoderm is the sea star, or starfish. But the echinoderm phylum also includes sea urchins, sea lilies and brittle stars. The echinoderms are very well known, but most people actually don't know what category to put them in!

The Crinoidea class contains sea lilies and feather stars. These delicate creatures are very beautiful, with several arms stretching out from the center. Echinoderms don't have a head, instead they appear to be groups of legs tied together at the middle!

Sea stars are widely known due to their famous shape. It is a common belief that they all have five legs, but that is actually not the case. The Eleven-armed Sea Star has, you guessed it, eleven legs. Regardless, sea stars can be spotted on rocks, sand, mud or reefs. They come in a variety of colors, and sizes.

Sea stars have some very weird characteristics. First of all, they invert their stomachs to feed on molluscs and other invertebrates. Secondly, they can grow back any legs they may lose!

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"Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms", from the National Research Council, provides insight on the types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding. Check our other books in our online store.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF