Photo: Jennifer Idol / Stocktrek Images / Getty Images / Stocktrek Images
Massive sunflower sea stars, once abundant along the West Coast of North America.
Since 2013, sea star wasting has killed thousands of the echinoderms from Mexico to Alaska. The disease causes lesions to develop in the sea.
Sunflower sea stars – massive animals is a hard hit. California and Washington has declined by 80 to 100 percent in some places.
"At one time plentiful in nearshore waters, the sunflower sea is right in the Alaska," said Drew Harvell, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, in a statement. Harvell co-authored the study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, with research from UC Davis.
Harvell said in parts of their southern range.
Climate change, which is said to be the cause of the starfish wasting disease.
"It's a lethal disease, and a higher impact," said Harvell said.
The Disappearance Of The Sunflower Sea Star – A Ravenous Predator Known To Zoom Out Of The Ocean Floor Sunflower sea stars eat sea urchins, and they reduce kelp.
Joseph Gaydos, a senior author of the UC Davis SeaDoc Society program, in the press release, received this threatens "kelp forests and biodiversity." "This is a really big impact."
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