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The class Asteroidea belongs to the phylum Echinodermata.

They remove debris from the body surface and wave around on flexible stalks in response to physical or chemical stimuli while continually making biting movements. Paxillae are umbrella-like structures found on starfish that live buried in sediment.In Forcipulatida, such as Asterias and Pisaster, they occur in pompom-like tufts at the base of each spine, whereas in the Goniasteridae, such as Hippasteria phrygiana, the pedicellariae are scattered over the body surface.Some are thought to assist in defence, while others aid in feeding or in the removal of organisms attempting to settle on the starfish's surface.The water vascular system of the starfish is a hydraulic system made up of a network of fluid-filled canals and is concerned with locomotion, adhesion, food manipulation and gas exchange.Water enters the system through the madreporite, a porous, often conspicuous, sieve-like ossicle on the aboral surface.

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