Sponges, the members of the phylum Porifera, are a basal animal clade as a sister of the Diploblasts.
Some have many branches or odd shapes, while others have a simple cylindrical shape.
All sponges have tiny pores where they intake water. Inside, they have microscopic hairs, or flagella, which wiggle to push the water through their bodies.
What are five characteristics of Sea sponges?
- Habitat: ADVERTISEMENTS: …
- Body Form: Their body is porous, viz., provided with pores. …
- Symmetry: Most of the sponges are asymmetrical. …
- Germ Layers: …
- Level of Organization: …
- Body wall: …
- Canal System: …
Sponges are similar to other animals in that they are multicellular, heterotrophic, lack cell walls and produce sperm cells.
Sponges are classified in the phylum Porifera. The word ‘Porifera’ comes from the Latin words ‘porus’ (pore) and ‘ferre’ (bear), meaning ‘pore-bearer.
Fast Facts: Sponges
- Scientific Name: Porifera
- Common Name: Sponge
- Basic Animal Group: Invertebrate
- Size: Various species range from under a half inch to 11 feet in length
- Weight: Up to approximately 20 pounds
- Lifespan: Up to 2,300 years
- Diet: Carnivore
- Habitat: Oceans and freshwater lakes the world over
- Population: Unknown
- Conservation Status: One species is classified Least Concern; most are Not Evaluated.
Sponges come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Some, like the liver sponge, look like a low-lying crust on a rock, while others can be taller than humans.
There are an enormous number of species in the phylum Porifera, broken into five classes:
- Calcarea (Calcareous sponges)
- Demospongiae (Horny sponges)
- Hexactinellida (Glass sponges)
- Homoscleromorpha (Includes about 100 species of encrusting sponges)
- Porifera incertae sedis (Sponges whose classification has not yet been defined)
Habitat and Distribution
Sponges are found on the ocean floor or attached to substrates such as rocks, coral, shells, and marine organisms.
Diet and Behavior
Most sponges also feed on small organisms that come in with the water. There are also a few species of carnivorous sponges that feed by using their spicules to capture prey such as small crustaceans.
Reproduction and Offspring
Sponges reproduce both sexually and asexually. Sexual reproduction occurs through the production of egg and sperm.
In some species, these gametes are from the same individual; in others, separate individuals produce eggs and sperm.