From the article, the viruses and bacteria of starfish have never been studied before because starfish aren't "“of commercial importance.” And yet they are also a "keystone predator" that plays a vital role in shaping the environment.
I'd say that makes them pretty bloody commercially important. It's just that until now they've been considered either a decoration or a nuisance.
First it was honey bees, now it's starfish, next it will probably be kittens. :^(
Found this, and it sounds like scientists postulate overpopulation may have allowed a disease to run rampant. People are posting a lot about the huge die-off numbers, but they aren't posting about the huge numbers of sea stars that were around prior to this event.
This may be nature falling back into balance.
Horrifying pictures of huge colonies of kittens suddenly dying by tearing themselves apart are racing through my mind.
OK, you wrote that, and I added tiny ponies tied to their limbs.
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