In your February 2007 issue there is a great article on the Rogers Environmental Education Center. In the article, there is a picture of a student with a "starfish." I thought there was no such thing. Aren't they called sea stars? When I went "tide-pooling" with my daughter she said there was no such thing as a "starfish." She said they do not have fins, and they are not fish.
Thanks for writing. You and your daughter are correct, starfish are not fish at all. They are marine invertebrates from the phylum Echinodermata and are therefore more closely related to sea urchins and sea cucumbers than fish. Sea star is the more biologically correct term, but starfish is a common name and common names aren't necessarily scientifically accurate.
--Melissa Albino, DEC Marine Biologist, Long Island