top of page
sand dollar sunrise

Sand Dollars and Starfish

How to find Sand Dollars?

Looking at low tide will give you the best chance to find sand dollars. They are often found just slightly beneath the water line. But you must never take a living sand dollar from the ocean. See below for more details on how to tell if it is alive or dead.

sand dollar dead and alive

Sand dollars and starfish are invertebrates. They do not have a spine or backbone.

Sand Dollars and Starfish Educational Video with Pinky Plankton

Sand Dollar & Starfish Products

Starfish on the beach
  • Starfish are sometimes referred to as sea stars.

  • A sand dollar turns white and smooth when it dies, but when it is alive it is a purple or brownish color and they appear to be fuzzy.

  • There are 2 different species of starfish found on Hilton Head. They are the Lined Sea Star, and the Forbes’ Common Sea Star.

  • It is against the law to take a living sand dollar and/or starfish from the beach.

  • Sand dollars and starfish have tube feet which help them move across the ocean floor and burrow under the sand to stay hidden from the hot summer sun.

  • Sand dollars and starfish breathe underwater, using their spines and tubed feet as gills.

  • Sand dollars and starfish eat plankton, larvae, and algae because they are filter feeders.

  • Sand dollars and Star fish are echinoderms.

The two starfish species found on Hilton Head typically have 5 legs. If they lose a leg, they are able to regrow it. Sand dollars can also regrow pieces of themselves if a piece breaks off.

Sand dollars and starfish live in saltwater and need it to survive.

Starfish Close up

Other Educational Pages

american alligator
horseshoe crab
sea turtle
bottom of page