What makes the 3 classes of sponges unique?

Imagine diving on a tropical coral reef and seeing all sorts of colorful sponges, some large, some small, some barrel shaped and some tube shaped. You might wonder: are all of these sponges functioning in a similar way? Do all sponges look like these? The answer is no, not even close.

There are three classes of sponges, all within one phylum called Porifera. Almost all of these filter water to obtain food - like the ones we focus on for our project exploring how sponges change the water chemistry on coral reefs - but some use a different life strategy altogether.

Sponges in all three classes have microbes that live within them as symbionts (symbionts are organisms of different types that live/exist together). This is an important relationship for sponges and an important concept for our project!

First, the class Demospongia comprises the largest and most widespread group of sponges and these are what people typically think of when they think of sponges. Demosponges have silica (glass) spicules that help give structure to the sponge body (like a skeleton) and protein fibers called spongin, which gives them a resilient quality. Demosponges come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors as shown in the photo below.

  • Photo courtesy of Saspotato on Flickr under the creative commons license 

They are found in tropical, temperate, polar, shallow, and deep water, and in freshwater. The sponges that were harvested (and still are on a smaller scale) for bathing belong to the genera Spongia and Hippospongia, are also a demosponges but these have no spicules.

  • Historical photo of sponge auction in Key West. Photo courtesy of Florida Sea Grant on Flickr under the creative commons license.

One unique demosponge I want to mention here is the carnivorous kind. Yes, I said carnivorous sponges! These typically live in deep water were there is less food in the water column. Theses sponges have hooked spicules that help them capture small crustaceans – like shrimp and amphipods, and even small fish! You can think of these as a sponge version of the venus fly trap plant.

The harp sponge is carnivorous and was discovered in 2012 off the coast of California at over 3,000 m depth by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. See more info here

Pictured below is one kind of carnivorous sponge, courtesy of NOAA photo library, that can trap small animals with filaments (typically seen with long filaments not shown here) that readily capture small animals that have fine hair-like appendages called setae.

  • NOAA photo library, creative commons license

The second class is Hexactinellida, or the glass sponges. These have silica spicules, which are often quite large and beautiful with 4 to 6 points on each spicule. The glass sponges are typically found in deeper waters (>1,000 ft or 300 m) and can form large reefs, such as found in deep water off the coast of British Columbia and Washington state.

Rather than pumping, these sponges rely on current to move water through their bodies so they can capture particles of food. They have a unique characteristic of being able to rapidly send electrical signals across their bodies so that they can respond to stimuli- perfect for grabbing that fast moving piece of detritus!

  • Venus’s flower basket glass sponge. Photo courtesy of NOAA photo library on Flickr under the creative commons license

One unique example of a glass sponge is the species known as Venus’s flower basket (pictured above). This sponge has a symbiotic relationship with a small shrimp. Two shrimp, one male and one female, live inside the sponge their entire lives. When the shrimp produce offspring (larvae), the larvae are released and travel to find another sponge to settle in. The shrimp get a great home with constant food supply and they help clean the sponge.

The last class is Calcareathe calcareous sponges. The spicules in these sponges are made of calcium carbonate rather than silica. These are less common than demosponges but still found in marine waters worldwide, even in shallow water that you might dive in.

The photo below is from a NOAA Ocean Exploration cruise that I participated in that was organized by researchers at The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Lab. The lovely looking calcareous sponge we collected using the submersible The Johnson Sea Link II was from ~150 m depth off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina is pictured below (On the left side of the calcareous sponge is another kind of sponge).

This guest-post is written by Cara Fiore (@clfiore). 
Cara is a post-doctoral researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Among other things, she studies how sponges influence water chemistry in reefs (and elsewhere). You can learn about her ongoing research at experiment.com/sponges.

Spongia officinalis

Sometimes known as the “Bath Sponge”, Spongia officinalis is a species of Spongiid sponge that is distributed throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Like most sponges S. officinalis inhabits the sea floor and is a filter feeder, picking out organic particles out of the water around it. True to its common name S. officinalis is harvested and used commercially, which in turn has caused a decrease in its population.


Animalia-Porifera-Demospongiae-Dictyoceratida-Spongiidae-Spongia-S. officinalis

Image: H. Zell

SPONGIA D 12 Globuli in pharma24 Versandapotheke für 4,70 EUR

Interessant für service-orientierte und preisbewußte Apotheken Kunden aus allen deutschen Bundesländern. Machen Sie einen Preisvergleich zwischen Ihnen bekannten Preisen und unserer Versandapotheke ! Zu diesem Preis können Sie heute SPONGIA D 12 Globuli rezeptfrei in der Versandapotheke bestellen. Sendungen der Versandapotheke pharma24 werden in der Regel einen Werktag nach dem Versand bundesweit zugestellt. Enorm dringende Medikationen sind daher nicht für eine Versandapotheke geeignet, sondern sollten direkt in der Apotheke vor Ort bezogen werden. Kunden, die ein Produkt nicht sofort benötigen oder ihren Bedarf planen können, sind in der Regel begeisterte Kunden unserer Versandapotheke. SPONGIA D 12 Globuli beziehen wir direkt vom Original Hersteller oder über den zugelassenen deutschen pharmazeutischen Großhändler. pharma24 betreibt ebenso Vor-Ort Apotheken in der Region Erlangen und unterliegt allen qualitativen Anforderungen einer zugelassenen, öffentlichen Apotheke. Auch im Hinblick auf die Beratung müssen Sie nicht verzichten. Gern können Sie nachfragen bezüglich Anwendung von SPONGIA D 12 Globuli in der Schwangerschaft und Stillzeit, Indikationen und Kontraindikationen oder bezüglich Nebenwirkungen und Wechselwirkungen von SPONGIA D 12 Globuli mit anderen Arzneimitteln, Produkten, Medizinprodukten, Lebensmitteln.

Google Anfragen zu SPONGIA D 12 Globuli

Suchmaschinen Anfragen zu SPONGIA D 12 Globuli

Ecosia Anfragen zu SPONGIA D 12 Globuli

anonymisierte Echtzeitsuche Sun, 22 Feb 2015 08:02:11 +0100

Packungsinhalt: 10g Globuli

Pharmazentralnummer - PZN von SPONGIA D 12 Globuli in allen deutschen Apotheken lautet 02638675

Hersteller: DHU-Arzneimittel GmbH & Co. KG

aktueller Preis in der Versandapotheke: 4,70 EUR incl. 19 % UST exkl. Versandkosten

—- http://dlvr.it/8gnS2K

F O R   T H E   B O D Y   T O I L E T

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
The marine sponges

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The Spongia Officinalis, or the natural marine sponge, is the  best and the softest way to wash the body, in the shower or in the bath. The sponge used by the Universal Officine Buly is collected in Greece and is the result of an animal, the spongiaire. It is the bone composition with absorbant and resistant fibers. Its globulous and lobed shape, with a ruffled and hollow surface, can result in different dimensions. Its absorption power is impressive and its flexibility is a delight for the skin. You are advised to rince effectively the sponge after every usage and dry it in open air.


Well, she’s still here… in our hearts… and this sponge…

((Sorry, it had to be done due to confusion between Ask-Cloudia and the pet Cloudia xD Personally, I prefer Spongia to Cloudia…))

"Let’s do it!" [Fr translation]

(( My French knowledge is paying off! All those free courses are paying for themself! I’ll let Clockwise Hooves handle the ClockPunk from now on… ))