Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Monday, 26 October 2009

Eight-legged starfish discovered

Eight-legged spiny starfish
The eight-legged starfish is twice the size of other spiny starfish

An unusual eight-legged spiny starfish has gone on display after being discovered in a crab pot off Cornwall's coast.

The creatures normally have five legs but this one is 12 inches long and thought to be twice the size of a spiny starfish.

The "octo-starfish", found near St Agnes, is thought to be two genetically joined together.

David Waines, of Newquay's Blue Reef aquarium, said it was extraordinary.

Spiny starfish
Spiny starfish usually have five legs which can re-grow if damaged or lost
They are named after the lines of bulbous spines which run along each arm
They feed on living and dead food including other starfish

He said: "Normal spiny starfish have five legs and don't get much bigger than six or seven inches across.

"This one is much larger and appears to be made up of two individual starfish which are somehow joined together.

"It's really strange."

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