Meet Peach, a red cushion sea star at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. The Animal Care team often finds this adventurous sea star striking yoga-like poses, climbing corals or scaling the acrylic windows. Although Peach is always on the go, she will definitely slow down when lunch is served.
Sea stars feed by extending their stomachs outside their body. How cool is that? Their stomachs stretch outward to cover an item of food and then secrete fluids that dissolve their prey, so they can digest it. They can even pry open a clam shell just enough to squeeze their stomach inside to eat it!
Sea stars can survive in many different habitats, including coral reefs, rocky shores and sea grass. Coral reefs, in particular, are home to 25 percent of all ocean species, so they are critical for many species’ survival. Unfortunately, there are numerous threats to coral, including increases in ocean temperature, ocean acidification and disease. The Disney Conservation Fund has supported coral conservation work around the world, and we have developed our own unique coral-restoration project led by scientists at The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Disney Cruise Line.
The next time you are visiting Crush at Turtle Talk or helping Marlin and Dory find Nemo, don’t forget to take time to explore the aquariums upstairs where you will find Peach. If you’re lucky, you may even catch her doing yoga or eating lunch!