Giant starfish have a helping hand settling into their new Great Yarmouth home

Youngsters helped welcome the starfish into their new home at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre. Picture: submitted Youngsters helped welcome the starfish into their new home at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre. Picture: submitted

Monday, February 10, 2014
12:01 PM

A troupe of underwater stars were helped into the limelight by an excited group of youngsters over the weekend.

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Brogan Hunter marvels at one of the starfish that have just arrived at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre. Picture: submittedBrogan Hunter marvels at one of the starfish that have just arrived at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre. Picture: submitted

A dazzling array of starfish have become the latest attraction at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre and a bunch of eager children were on hand to help welcome them into their new home.

Armed with traditional sand castle buckets, the youngsters - aged between six and 10 - helped carry the starfish species into the centre’s new feature exhibition.

Carefully they transported exotic chocolate chip and red-knobbed starfish, as well as native brittle-stars into their new tanks.

But two of the sparkling new arrivals needed to be carried in something a lot larger then a bucket.

Two of the starfish that have just arrived at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre. Picture: submittedTwo of the starfish that have just arrived at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre. Picture: submitted

The huge sunflower starfish and giant pink starfish, which measure nearly three feet across, are the world’s biggest starfish and were transported separately.

Curator Christine Pitcher said: “Starfish are almost a symbol of seaside holidays and exploring rock pools with buckets and nets.

“That’s why we thought getting children to help with this special delivery would be a lovely way to herald our exciting new feature.”

The new exhibition opened yesterday and visitors will be able to explore it from a number of vantage points, including from inside special ‘bubble windows’ that pop up inside the tanks themselves.

Christine added: “Starfish are firm favourites with children, who don’t seem at all put off by the fact that some of them eject their whole stomachs to digest their prey, before drawing them back in again.

“They are also acutely sensitive to the tiniest changes to their environment, and hence a key indicator of the health of the seas and coastal habitats they live in.”

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