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The water vascular system is a hydraulic system used by echinoderms, such as sea stars and sea urchins, for locomotion, food and waste transportation, and respiration. The system is composed of canals connecting numerous tube feet. Echinoderms move by alternately contracting muscles that force water into it is restricted to water channels in sponges and the hydrostatic. Phylum Echinodermata Ex. Sea stars, sea cucumbers, feather stars, sea urchins, . water circulates through = hydrostatic skeleton unique to Echinoderms; Tube feet: create suction to adhere to substrate Movement. Echinoderms usually inhabit shallow coastal waters and ocean trenches. ➢ organisms in this . hydrostatic pressure permits movement. ➢ Path of water in the.

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Introduction to Star Fish 2. Role of Tube Feet in Locomotion 4. Star fishes Asterias are the members of phylum Echinodermata which possess a characteristic hydrostatic skeleton.

Water vascular system – Wikipedia

In asteroids star fishesthe coelomic body cavity is well developed, but the body wall being rigid, peristaltic movement is not movemenr. In Asterias, the water vascular system bears tube feet and has a central coelomic cavity that transports sea water within the animal.

Tube feet are short tubular external projections of the body wall located in the ambulacral groove. Echinodeerms each arm of the starfish extends an open ambulacral groove, from which arises a series of tube feet or podia. These are arranged in two rows and usually have suckers at their tip. Each tube foot has a coelomic cavity that communicates by a narrow neck with an ampulla lying in the main perivisceral coelom.


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Actually the ampulla is echihoderms small muscular sac that bulges into the aboral side and opens directly in a canal that passes downward between the ambulacral ossicles and leads into the tube foot or podium. Between these two layers, lie connective tissues and longitudinal muscle fibres Figs.

In general, sea stars or star fishes move rather slowly and tend to remain within a restricted area. The functioning of the unit depends upon differences between the musculature of the ampulla and the tube foot Fig.

Contraction of these muscles brings about protraction of the tube foot and drives the fluid out of the ampulla into the foot.

The increase in pressure is wholly translated into elongation of the foot that subsequently comes in contact with the substratum.

The musculature of the tube foot, in contrast to that of the ampulla, consists of longitudinal muscles, which are bounded on the inner side of the coelom Fig. All these make possible the highly organised move,ent movement by which the star fishes pull themselves along Fig.

Locomotion in Star Fish | Invertebrates

In a particular section of an arm, most of the tube feet perform these steps in a highly co-ordinated manner and the animal moves forward. The tube foot also acts hyerostatic lever, since a sea star can progress as well ecbinoderms sandy or greasy surfaces as over rock.


In normal horizontal movement, the tube feet appear to act mainly as levers, since they can be seen to bend throughout their length, while in vertical movement the traction method appears to be used. When a sea star is turned over, it can right itself by folding.

The distal end of one or two arms twists, bringing the tube feet in contact with the substratum. The animal may also right itself by arching its body and rising on the tip of its arms. It then rolls over onto its oral surface. The control and co-ordination of sea star tube feet is a subject that has been studied quite extensively.

Jennings showed the importance of the radial nerve and circumoral nerve ring in the pattern of co-ordination. Mangold evaluated the influence of the peripheral nervous system. The adhesion of tube feet tip to the substratum is largely chemical. In addition to locomotory function, tube feet of sea stars provide the principal gas exchange surface.

Tube feet are the only appendages, possessed by all extant classes of Echinodermata that take pride of place as hydraulic organ in the animal kingdom. Macrophagy in Star Fish With Diagram. Top 5 Functions of Plasma Membrane Cytology.