See the Beauty of the Purple Sea Star on Your Kayak Tour

See the Beauty of the Purple Sea Star on Your Kayak Tour

From Jack Martin

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When exploring the stunning waters surrounding San Juan Island on a kayak tours, you might be lucky enough to encounter the majestic purple sea star, also known as the ochre star. These mesmerizing creatures are a sight to behold and add an element of wonder to any marine adventure. Let's delve into the world of these fascinating sea stars and learn more about their unique characteristics.

The Purple Sea Star:

The purple sea star, scientifically known as Pisaster ochraceus, is a common sight along the rocky shores of the San Juan Islands. With its vibrant purple color and distinctive appearance, this sea star stands out against the backdrop of the ocean. Its ability to tolerate exposure to air and survive in the harsh intertidal zone sets it apart from other species of sea stars in the area.

One of the fascinating aspects of the purple sea star is its feeding habits. These voracious predators play a crucial role in the ecosystem by controlling the population of mussels and other shellfish. Using their tube feet, they pry open the shells of their prey and consume the soft body inside. This predatory behavior helps maintain a balance in the marine environment and ensures the survival of other species.

Species of Pisaster:

In addition to the purple sea star, two other species of Pisaster can be found in the waters of the San Juan Islands. The Short-spined Sea Star (Pisaster brevispinus) and Giant Sea Star (Pisaster giganteus) are less commonly seen due to their preference for deeper waters. These sea stars add to the diversity of marine life in the area and contribute to the overall richness of the ecosystem.

While the purple sea star is known for its ability to withstand exposure to air and harsh conditions, the other species of Pisaster prefer to inhabit the lower intertidal and subtidal zones. This division of habitat allows for a diverse range of sea stars to coexist and thrive in different environments.

Experience the Beauty of the Purple Sea Star on Your Kayak Tour:

Embarking on a kayak tour around San Juan Island provides a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of the purple sea star up close. Paddling through the crystal-clear waters, you may spot these stunning creatures clinging to rocks or moving gracefully along the seabed. Their vibrant color and graceful movements make them a sight to remember.

As you glide through the waters, take a moment to appreciate the intricate beauty of the purple sea star and its importance in the marine ecosystem. These enchanting creatures serve as a reminder of the wonders of the natural world and the delicate balance of life beneath the waves. So, don't miss the chance to see the beauty of the purple sea star on your next kayak tour at San Juan Island.


The purple sea star is a captivating and essential part of the marine environment in the San Juan Islands. Its vibrant color, unique characteristics, and important role in the ecosystem make it a fascinating creature to encounter on kayak tours. By exploring the waters surrounding San Juan Island, you can witness the beauty of these sea stars and gain a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the underwater world. So, immerse yourself in the beauty of the purple sea star on your next adventure and create lasting memories of the natural splendor that surrounds us.

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