How might a starfish's essential functions be affected if it were lacking pedicellaria? (think respiration and water-vascular system)
I found out pedicellaria are little, claw like structures on the outer surface of a starfish's epidermis. They keep the epidermis clean and free of algae that might grow there
Star fish have bear-trap or valve-like structures known as pedicellariae. These have been noticed to have several functions. In many kinds of starfish they do not allow algae and plankton to settle on the surface. Some starfish have been observed to use these to capture active krill prey and small fish with their pedicellariae.
Without the pedicellariae, the starfish will not be able to perform the functions for which they use the pedicellariae. In addition to not allowing them to catch prey, the lack of pedicellariae will result in algae and plankton settling on the starfish. This makes the starfish more susceptible to being attacked by prey. Also, as the matter which settles on their bodies decays it results in the growth of bacteria and other organisms that could harm the starfish.