What Eats Starfish?

What Eats Starfish? What Do Starfish Eat?


Although starfish are predators themselves, several other animals prey on the slow, defenseless starfish. Because of their unusual structure and sluggish movement, starfish might appear fearsome underwater. They are not impervious to predators, though. Starfish are preyed upon by many predators, as they serve as predators of algae and small invertebrates in marine environments. Many animals, including fish, crabs, mollusks, and birds, have evolved to take advantage of the weaknesses of starfish.

Knowing the starfish’s predators helps us better understand the complex dynamics of marine food webs and the many tactics various species use to get food in the vast ocean. Furthermore, researching the relationships between predators and prey offers insights into the larger ecological balance of marine environments and the possible effects of changes or disturbances to these ecosystems. This investigation highlights the intricate relationship between predator and prey beneath the waves by examining the wide variety of creatures that feed on starfish.

What Eats Starfish
What Eats Starfish

Here are the animals that eat starfish:

1. Sharks

As the top predators in the ocean, sharks consume every kind of meat that comes within their reach. Some graze on plankton, while others hunt larger fish and mammals as their food. They occasionally consume the sluggish sea stars that reside on the ocean floor.

Sharks eat starfish in a variety of ways. Basking sharks, one of the primary predators of starfish, use ram feeding. Megamouth sharks, on the other hand, are known to engage in suction feeding. First to adopt camouflage are wobbegongs and angel sharks, which are frequently spotted on the seafloor. They feast on their unsuspecting prey once they are undetectable.

Most sharks find it easy to devour the starfish whole because of their enormous size. 

2. King Crab

King crab is a powerful predator that feeds on starfish. This crustacean is found in the North Atlantic and Bering Seas, two of the coldest environments in the Northern Hemisphere. The king crab has strong claws that allow it to easily grab and eat starfish.

The powerful and sharp claws of the king crab are one of its main tools for hunting starfish. The king crab may reach the sensitive tissues inside the starfish by using these claws to break through its strong exoskeleton. The starfish is held in place by the king crab’s claws, which also keep it from fleeing.

The king crab uses its acute sense of smell to find possible prey as part of its hunting technique. The king crab will use its strong legs to go in the direction of its target as soon as it smells a starfish. The king crab will then grab hold of the starfish and start eating it with its prepared claws.

3. Lobster

Another species that feeds on starfish is the lobster, which is an important predator of starfish in maritime environments. There are several oceans in the world where these crustaceans can be found, including as the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic.

Lobsters catch and eat starfish using their strong claws. Their claws are made to break through the starfish’s thick armor and reach the sensitive tissues within. Lobsters can grab onto starfish with such force that there is no way for them to escape. Lobsters consume a diverse array of marine creatures apart from starfish. Mollusks, fish, and even other crustaceans are part of their diet. Because of their varied diet, lobsters can discover food sources even amid low starfish numbers.

Starfish Underwater with Fishes
Starfish Underwater with Fishes

Lobsters use their excellent sense of smell to find their prey when hunting starfish. Lobsters use their strong legs to hurry and reach their victim as soon as they smell a starfish. Lobsters grab hold of the starfish and start to eat it with their prepared claws.

4. Marine Bony Fish

Marine bony fish which is a significant predator of starfish in marine environments. The Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans are only a few of the global oceanic zones where these fish can be found. Marine bony fish have strong jaws and streamlined bodies that make them ideal for snatching up and eating starfish. They cling to the starfish with their razor-sharp teeth and shred apart its hard outer shell. They can consume the starfish after they have had access to the delicate tissues inside.

Marine bony fish eat a range of different marine species in addition to starfish. Mollusks, crabs, and tiny fish are among their food sources. Because of their varied diet, marine bony fish can find food sources even in low starfish numbers. Marine bony fish use their speed and agility as weapons when hunting starfish. They move quickly across the water, spotting starfish that are concealed behind rocks or coral reefs with their excellent vision. They move swiftly to snatch up any starfish they come across with their mouths.

5. Marine Turtle

In addition to living in the world’s oceans, sea turtles are amazing animals that are essential to preserving the harmony of marine ecosystems. These gentle giants are among the ocean’s most significant starfish predators due to their voracious appetite for starfish in addition to their beautiful motions and distinctive appearance.

Sea turtles are renowned for having extraordinary swimming skills. They can easily traverse across the water thanks to their strong flippers. Sea turtles use their excellent vision to find their prey when searching for starfish. They can swiftly move in to capture starfish with their beaks after spotting them concealed behind rocks or coral reefs.

The survival of marine ecosystems depends on sea turtles’ ability to consume starfish. Sea turtles assist in preventing overcrowding and possible harm to coral reefs and other marine environments by managing starfish populations. They support the delicate oceanic equilibrium that ensures the survival of numerous species and the ecosystem’s general health.

6. Octopus

Oceanic animals of great interest, such as octopuses, are renowned for their exceptional sense of smell and their capacity for thought. In addition to being predators of starfish, these soft-bodied marine predators are essential to preserving the equilibrium of marine ecosystems.

Highly intelligent animals, such as octopuses, have been seen to use tools and work through challenging issues. They can detect and catch their prey because of their acute sense of taste and touch. Octopuses can enter hiding spots where starfish may be found by squeezing through tiny gaps and fissures.

For marine ecosystems to remain healthy, octopuses’ predation on starfish is crucial. Octopuses assist in preventing overcrowding and potential harm to coral reefs and other marine habitats by managing the population of starfish. They support the delicate oceanic equilibrium that ensures the survival of numerous species and the ecosystem’s general health.


A wide variety of predators that feed on starfish are essential to the upkeep of ecological equilibrium in marine environments. Every species, from mollusks and crustaceans to fish like the enormous Pacific octopus and triggerfish, helps control the abundance of starfish. Furthermore, human actions that disturb these natural cycles, including overfishing and habitat degradation, may have unanticipated effects on marine biodiversity. 

As a result, in addition to safeguarding starfish, conservation efforts also need to maintain the complete food chain that supports them. We can better appreciate the significance of preserving healthy marine habitats for the benefit of all species, including our own, by comprehending and respecting the complex interactions that exist between starfish and their predators.

Back to top button