tidal pool…

star fish...

This is meant to look like a tidal pool. All kinds of fauna can be in the pools left behind when the tide goes out – in this case a star fish may be perhaps a bit lonely until the tide brings the ocean back and some new fishy friends…

I was trying to get a painterly texture here and I think that part is fairly successful – the pool doesn’t look as wet as I wanted though… practice, practice…

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

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2 Responses to “tidal pool…”

  1. five motile segments
    quintessential unity
    echinoderm dreams

    See why I’ve not been writing a poem for this one? 🙂

    Important facts about enchinodermata (the phylum–“spiny skinned’–which includes the starfish): they tend to have five-fold radial symmetry, and in the case of starfish are capable of growing back severed limbs. I’m told that if you cut one very carefully into equal pieces all five with “grow back” into a complete starfish. Although I hasten to declaim that vivisection is not my thing, even for critters lacking anything resembling a brain, or even much of a nervous system!

    Starfish have a peculiar pneumatic system of motion, pushing fluids into tubes in their legs, that I think could be applied usefully to robotics, in keeping with the centuries-old, tried and true, extremely common, well-taught and well-studied engineering design technique of stealing designs from nature.

    Starfish, like most echinoderms, are hermaphrodites, and purple stars of the kind shown here reproduce by clumping together on the rocks in spring in accordance with some hormonal signal and then releasing sperm and eggs into the water. The life cycle of all these creatures is improbably complex, the result of a long and elaborative evolutionary process. Barnacles go through something seven stages of free-swimming plankton before anchoring themselves to the rock with their head, growing a shell, and kicking food into their mouth with their feet. I don’t know how many stages starfish go through, but its likely quite a few.

    I won’t describe how they eat because it would disgust you. Nasty creatures.

    I spent a fair chunk of my childhood thinking I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up, and picked up rather a lot of facts about starfish in the way!

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