Rare Sun Starfish found on beach

SISTERS Eliza-May and Madeleine Crafer discovered these rarely spotted sea creatures washed up on the tide this week.The young beachcombers found a group of Sun Starfish on the snow-clad shoreline between Hemsby and Winterton during a bracing walk with mum Debbie and dad Mark.

SISTERS Eliza-May and Madeleine Crafer discovered these rarely spotted sea creatures washed up on the tide this week.

The young beachcombers found a group of Sun Starfish on the snow-clad shoreline between Hemsby and Winterton during a bracing walk with mum Debbie and dad Mark.

They were among dozens of dead Common Starfish scattered across the sand, providing a tasty treat for flocks of swooping seagulls.

Eight year old Eliza-May and Madeleine, 10, retrieved the Sun Starfish before they disappeared down the hungry birds' beaks.


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The five specimens were put in the freezer of the Crafer family's Hemsby home before being captured on camera by Mercury photographer James Bass.

Mum Debbie said: “We go on the beach most days, but I had not seen anything like these starfish before. They were very pretty with

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orange, black and yellow colouring. Some of the smaller ones were about the size of a 50p others more the size of a teacup and still in really good condition.”

Earlier this year the family's Border Collie Beauty found a bottle containing a painting by a Dutch artist on the same part of the beach.

Senior marine biologist at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre, Darren Gook, said: “Sun Starfish have between 8 and 14 arms and more commonly 10 to 12. They are found all around Britain, but it is fairly rare to turn up on the beach as they are sub-tidal animals. Stormy conditions probably washed them ashore. They are voracious predators and feed on small urchins and sea cucumbers.”

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