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Do Starfish Have Eyes?


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?

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.

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