Starfish in the sea
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Tuesday May 12, 2015

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Indigo is an exclusive collection of three-bedroom condominium island-homes. Beautifully situated on a white sand beach on Ambergris Caye, Indigo embraces forever views of the Belize Barrier Reef. Footsteps from the waterís edge. Light years from hustle and bustle. The design is Tropical Rustica, with an emphasis on natural shapes, natural materials, effortless elegance and excellence. Soaring tree-trunks support broad curved verandas where the cooling sea breezes and brilliant view of sea and reef await you every day.
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Starfish in the sea

What happens when we lift a starfish out of water for an impromptu photo session?

All over the body of starfish are papules called dermal gills. Carbon dioxide gases are exchanged for oxygen between the coelomic liquid of the starfish and the water. Essentially, itís how they breathe, like having hundreds of tiny noses all over your body.

As fresh air is toxic to starfish and they canít hold their breath for very long, each time theyíre lifted out of the water for a photo op, they are drowning and suffering from a build up of carbon dioxide. Itís the equivalent of someone filling your lungs with water for a little while and then emptying them again. Itís not a good day out. When this is done repeatedly, itís a flip of the coin as to whether the poor creature can die from drowning or the stress of being semi-drowned so many times.

It's a bit of a generalization as it actually depends on the species, some are made to live a few hours outside water because of the tides. Out of the couple of thousand of species of starfish, there are a few designed to survive in the sand and tidal pools and even some of those die from the stress when exposed to air. But thatís besides the point which is animals are not your play things and selfie props.

Photograph by Diane Campbell

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