Coral reefs ravaged by predatory starfish

Starfish make for wonderful keepsakes, and one would find it difficult to believe they could be anything but harmless. But for conservationists concerned about declining coral reefs, there is a certain type of starfish, unlike Patrick of Spongebob SquarePants, that is anything but cutesy. This, according to Planet Ark News, which notes that outbreaks of the notorious “crown of thorns” starfish is wreaking havoc in Asia’s famous coral triangle where it feeds on the pithy rocks by spreading its stomach over them and then using its digestive enzymes to liquefy tissue. Fortunately, nature can manage such problems, since there have been outbreaks in the past which have experienced coral recovery and a revitalization of the beautiful bleach-white Asian reefs.

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