In 2013, a sea star epidemic began sweeping through the intertidal zone along the west coast of America. Sea stars affected by a disease (known as the sea star wasting disease) would appear to "melt", losing their grips on rocks and then losing their arms. The cause of the epidemic is a complete mystery. While the disease has wiped out a vast majority of the sea star population along the west coast, an unprecedented amount of juvenile sea stars were found to have survived the summer and winter of 2015. The number of juveniles found was almost 300 times the normal amount. This is great news for sea star populations. Hopefully these babies survive competition for food, predation and the sea star wasting disease itself!
Return of the sea stars!
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