Sea stars are actually invertebrates or animals without backbones and not fish despite people commonly referring to them as ‘starfish.
‘In this photo, the sea star is on a vertical rock face with two of its arms holding the rock and two arms hanging in a relaxed position.
‘Sea stars sometimes relax their arms such as when they are eating.
‘Since the sea star is oriented vertically, gravity is causing its internal components to slump.’
Jaros was surprised that the sea star gained such popularity online.
He added that sea stars are of major importance to the marine ecosystem, describing them as a ‘keystone species’ who others depend on.
Jaros explained that they have come under threat with water pollution increasing and water temperatures rising in the ocean.
‘Two ways people can help sea stars in the wild this summer are by not purchasing dried – or dead – sea stars, which can sometimes be found in souvenir shops, and being respectful of them if you see them at the beach such as being mindful of where you step and not trying to move or pick up the animals,’ he added.