Sea stars, commonly known as starfish, are dying from a mysterious wasting syndrome. Sea stars are like most saltwater fish, though they have no gills, scales or fins. Even though they look like stars, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. There are about 2,000 different species of sea stars living in marine waters. Some species can have up to 40 arms and if one arm is lost, a sea star has the ability to regenerate it. Talk about incredible.
Because these incredible creatures are dying by the millions along the west coast of North America, biologists are intensely searching for survivors to study and find a way to prevent any more from dying. As the disease spreads, some scientists are seeing a link between the rising water temperature and the rising death count of sea stars. But, a small glimmer of hope arises that give scientists the encouragement they need to push forward.