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Odontaster Validus Video Stock Footage
Odontaster validus can grow to about 10 cm (4 in) in diameter. The disc is broad, thick and cushion-like, creased by interambulacral grooves. There is a large madreporite near the centre and the surface is covered in small granulations organised in radial rows. The five short arms are wide at the base tapering sharply and the tip is often raised off the substrate showing the pale coloured tube feet beneath. The colour of the upper or aboral surface is plain red while the underside is pink. Odontaster validus takes 3 to 6 years to reach maturity but may live for 100 years. This is a consequence of the animal being cold-blooded, the harsh environmental conditions in which it lives and the low metabolic rate that ensues. In McMurdo Sound, where it has been extensively studied, the water temperature is about −1.8 °C (28.8 °F). The initiation of oogenesis occurs from August to February and the eggs take about 18 months to mature. Spawning takes place between May and September and may be linked to seasonal changes in light levels, sunrise taking place in McMurdo Sound in August. The larval development is also slow with the first, bipinnaria, stage lasting 2 months. The larvae remain near the seabed during this time but become pelagic for up to 6 months as brachiolaria larvae which allows them to disperse widely. They then return to the seabed, undergo metamorphosis and develop into juvenile starfish.
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