Wild Things: Life as We Know It- page 4 | Science | Smithsonian
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(Tim Wimborne / Reuters / Corbis)

Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Vanishing dinosaurs, breeding birds, redback spiders and more

Planning For Extreme Weather

Sea stars
(Cheryl Carlin)
Sea stars stranded at low tide can be exposed to brutal sunlight for hours. How do they beat the heat? Pisaster ochraceus regulates its body temperature by sucking up water during high tide, say scientists led by the University of South Carolina. And after a hot day, the sea stars take in even more water at the next opportunity. The cooling system lets sea stars stay closer to their preferred prey—mussels—which live higher on shore.

Learn more about the sea star Pisaster ochraceus at the Encyclopedia of Life.

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