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Sponge


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Sponge
Sponges are very slow-moving animals that are found across the sea floor. Although many sponges actually move less than a millimetre a day, some adult sponges are actually sessile, which means that they are fixed onto something and do not move at all.

Sponges are thought to have evolved around 500 million years ago, and today there are more than 5,000 known species of sponge with another 5,000 species thought to have not yet been discovered. Most sponges live in a salt water environment, attached to objects on the sea floor. Less than 200 sponge species inhabit freshwater habitats.

The body of the sponge is made up of a jelly-like substance that is supported by a thin layer of cells on either side. The body of the sponge contain thousands of pores which allow water to keep flowing through it.

Sponges have no organs, and obtain their nutrition from the water that is continuously flowing through them. Sponges can be found in variety of different sizes and shapes tubes, fans, cups, cones and blobs.

Sponges are omnivorous animals that obtain their nutrition from the food particles in the water. Sponges primarily eat bacteria, phytoplankton and bits out of the water. A number of sponge species are known to have a more carnivorous diet, eating small fish and crustaceans on the reefs.

Due to the abundance and variety of sponges, they are preyed upon by many animals. The fact that sponges move so slowly, if at all, means that they cannot avoid being eaten. Sea turtles, crustaceans, fish and echinoderms all prey on sponges.

Sponges are hermaphrodites, which means that they have both male and female reproductive organs. Fertilisation occurs inside many sponges, and sometimes externally when sperm are released into the water. The tiny sponge larvae are able to move through the water and eventually settle on the sea floor as they get bigger, and begin to move very little.


Sponge Comments (12)

tom

"great article "

sarah anderson

"Thanks helped a bunch! "

Mia

"Amazing for my project! "

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Sponge Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Porifera
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Demospongiae
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species...
Sponge
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Demospongiae
Found:Worldwide
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
1cm - 3m (0.4in - 118in)
Number of Species:
The total number of recorded species...
5,000
Lifespan:15-30 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Green, Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Brown
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Smooth
Favourite Food:Bacteria
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Saltwater seafloors
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1,000s
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Bacteria, Phytoplankton, Nutrients In Water
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Fish, Turtles. Crustaceans
Special Features:Brightly coloured and non-moving lifestyle

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