Death of the Stars

Science Magazine
The Seattle Aquarium sits on Pier 59, above the cold, dark waters of Puget Sound. As children run inside its wood-beamed atrium, Lesanna Lahner peers into the largest display tank. A few salmon swim idly past barren rocks. "This used to be full of sea stars," says Lahner, the aquarium's veterinarian. No more. The five-armed echinoderms, sometimes known as starfish, are victims of a mysterious wasting syndrome that has ravaged the east and west coasts of North America.