Chondrocladia lampadiglobus is a large stalked, carnivorous sponge which is ca. 50 cm high, composed of a rhizoid fixation system, a cylindrical stalk ending in an enlarged, ovoid body from which secondary branches radiate in all
directions, each ending in an irregular swelling on preserved specimens
or a translucent sphere in living specimens. It was first described in 2006 by Jean Vacelet. Most sponges are composed of spicules, little shards of silica, that provide structure. In the family of carnivorous sponges, Cladorhizidae (in which Chondrocladia lampadiglobus belongs), some
spicules are shaped like hooks. Unsuspecting tiny crustaceans or other
animals near the sponge are often caught in the sheets of hooks that
line the surface of the Cladorhizid sponges. Once a crustacean is caught, the cells surrounding mobilize, cover, and create a temporary cavity around the crustacean. Within this cavity the
crustacean is digested.
Large stalked sponge (Bolosoma sp.) providing a home for a myriad of brittlestars and crustacean associates.
ROVs Deep Discoverer and Seirios are safely back on deck of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer after being recovered early due to strong currents (safety first!). We’ll be back for one more dive, before heading into port for a few days of rest, and then heading back out again.
“…a single sponge can filter up to a thousand times its body volume of water in one day. Off the coast of Canada, reefs of glass sponges (so named for their silicate skeletons) can clean more than five hundred vertical feet of overlying water. And, if they take in dirt or toxins, sponges can clear themselves out with a languorous sneeze.”