Animal Encounters

Fun Animal Encounters

From a hairy tarantula to a talking African gray parrot, you never know what you’ll bump into in Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari at the Tennessee Aquarium!

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Get a peek behind the scenes of the Aquarium’s Husbandry department. Read their weekly animal updates and get an insider’s look at caring for over 10,000 animals and plants.

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Bat Sea Star

Asterina miniata

ON EXHIBIT:  Boneless Beauties at Ocean Journey.

Bat Sea Star

FUN FACTS
This species is very common throughout its range and can vary greatly in color.  They typically have five arms, but specimens with four to nine arms are occasionally found as well. Sea stars eat by expelling their stomach and wrapping it around their food. Enzymes from the stomach tissue dissolve the food so it can be absorbed. Once finished, the stomach is taken back into the body.


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About This Animal

SIZE: Up to 8 inches

RANGE: Sitka, Alaska to Isla Cedros, Baja California

HABITAT: Rocky or sandy intertidal zones to about 950 ft deep

DIET: Omnivore, scavenger; prefers surfgrass, colonial tunicates, bryozoans, sponges