1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Do Starfish Have Eyes?

By

Sea Star Eye Spots / Jennifer Kennedy

Sea star (starfish). Arrows point to red eye spots, located at the end of the arms.

© Jennifer Kennedy
Question: Do Starfish Have Eyes?
Starfish (more scientifically known as sea stars) don't have any visible body parts that look like eyes. How do they see?
Answer:

While it may not look like starfish have eyes, they do - although they're not like our eyes. A starfish has eye spots that cannot see details, but can detect light and dark. These eye spots are at the tip of each of the starfish's arms - so a 5-armed starfish has 5 eye spots, a 40-armed starfish has 40!

See a Starfish's Eye

A starfish's eye spots lie underneath its skin, but you can see them. If you get a chance to gently hold a starfish, often it will tilt the end of its arms upward. Look at the very tip, and you might see a black, or red dot. That's the eye spot.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.