Blue linckia sea stars in Papua New Guinea  

Blue linckia sea stars in Papua New Guinea

In shallow areas of the tropical Indo-Pacific, you"ll come across the blue linckia sea star. Oftentimes it"s found anchored to or hiding under rocks. This duo was spotted near the coast of New Ireland, an island in Papua New Guinea. Even though "blue" is in the name, this species of sea star has also been observed in purple, pink, or orange. The vibrant colors make the linckia popular in the seashell trade, unfortunately, and intensive poaching has diminished their populations. But new research could lead to calls for their protection: Scientists have studied potential anti-tumor and antibacterial properties inherent to the blue linckia.

© Jurgen Freund/Minden Pictures

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