Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Comparative analysis of starfish skeletal properties in Pycnopodia helianthoides, Posaster ochraceus, and Patiria miniata
Student Author(s): Tansey, Keith
Faculty Advisor(s): Denny, Mark
Pages: 25
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1983
Keywords: echinoderms
Abstract: The skeletal system in starfish greatly influences behavior and ecology. Locomotory behavior, especially aspects of flexibility, is dependent on the properties of the skeletal system. Anatomical and mechanical properties are here examined to determine the relationship of ossicle mass, material stiffness, and flexibility. Flexibility behavior is also observed to exmaine the range of degree and rate of bending among the 3 subject species. It is concluded that a) the greater the volume fraction of ossicles, the stiffer the tissue and b) The greater the volume fraction of ossicles, the lesser the flexibility. It is also found that rate of flection varies more among the species than does the degree of flexibility.