I have to say, July was a busier month than I anticipated, and Comic Con Seoul is this weekend (oh gods…)! I wanted to take a break from freaking out to update Sea Legs’s Sea Creature of the Month on time, plus a few facts about this amazing creature.

Meet Sam the Granulated Sea Star! The Granulated Sea Star goes by many names: Granular Sea Star, Granular Starfish, Big-plated Sea Star, Big-plated Starfish, Doughboy Sea Star, Doughboy Starfish, Pillsbury Doughboy, and Pillsbury Doughboy Sea Star. Harmless to humans, they are primarily found in the warm tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, but are also found along the coasts of East Africa, the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Sea, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. It is the only species in the genus Choriaster, and being of the Asteroidia class, they use both sexual and asexual means of reproduction. They primarily feed on carrion and small invertebrates like coral polyps.

There isn’t much to go on researching the Granulated Sea Star specifically, but like many sea stars, they’re struggling to survive due to various threats to their environment: pollution, ocean acidification, and global warming. While there aren’t any conservation focuses for the species specifically, consider looking at these organizations to donate/volunteer/work:

Are you looking to work in conservation? Take a gander at these job listings: