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Sponges have several cell types:
* Choanocytes (also known as "collar cells"), flagellated cells which function as the sponge's digestive system, are remarkably similar to the protistan choanoflagellates. The collars are composed of microvilli and are used to filter particles out of the water.

Sponges are filter feeders. They draw water in through the pores located throughout their body wall into a central cavity. The central cavity is lined with collar cells which have a ring of tentacles that surround a flagellum.

Cloud Sponges, Aphrocallistes vastus
Database ~ BioOne PLOS ~ Scholar ~ IUCN threat status ~ ARKive ~ EOL ~ Flickr ~ YouTube ~ Google ~ Bing
Taxonomy Animalia Porifera Hexactinellida Hexactinosida Aphrocallistidae Aphrocallistes vastus
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Sponges are an important part of the ecosystem; they're a source of food for nudibranchs, chitons, sea stars, turtles and some fishes.
Cool Facts ...

Sponge Communication - Received from Micheal Lee in Torrance, CA.
Q: In school, I have the assignment of putting together a report on how sponges communicate, and I can't seem to find any answers. The closest I have gotten is a scientific abstract that is too confusing for me to understand.

Sponge
Type of animal science: Classification, ecology, reproduction
Fields of study: Anatomy, zoology
Thousands of sponge species occur, most in the oceans. They are sexual hermaphrodites, and also reproduce asexually. Sponges are useful commercially.

Sponges are the principal diet of hawksbills once they enter shallow coastal waters and begin feeding on the bottom. While diet studies have focused on the Caribbean, there is evidence that eating sponges is a worldwide feeding habit.

Spongehead catshark (Apristurus spongiceps) ' more
Panama ghost catshark (Apristurus stenseni) ' more
Preservation ...

Sponges - 1 set for cleaning, one for rinsing, and one for disinfecting.
Cleaning schedule ...

The sponges (Porifera) were long thought to have diverged from other animals early. They lack the complex organization found in most other phyla. Their cells are differentiated, but in most cases not organized into distinct tissues. Sponges typically feed by drawing in water through pores.

The sponges (Porifera or "pore-bearer") are represented in the fossil record as far back as the early Precambrian, more than 600 million years ago. They are all aquatic-freshwater and marine-and show a diversity of form. However, sponges lack the complex organization found in most other phyla.

Food
sponges, soft corals, sea grasses, molluscs
Breeding
Hawksbills nest on beaches in tropical oceans of the world, often sharing beaches with green turtles. Nests are typically placed under vegetation.

Category: Sponges view all from this category
Description Varies from a thin encrusting layer less than 1/8" (3 mm) high and covering a few square inches to 8" (20 cm) wide and 8" (20 cm) high with many fanlike branches. Red to orange. Pores inconspicuous.

Inexpensive
Sponge cartridges can be rinsed out and reused, cutting down on costs
Carbon cartridges can be rinsed and refilled with carbon of your choice
Suction cups don't detach from the filter so it doesn't float away
Very quiet ...

Elephant Ear Sponge
Photographer: Richard Ling
Location
Coral Sea, Australia ...

Carnivore. Sea sponges, coral, and similar sea animals and, although primarily carnivorous, they eat algae and sea grasses.
Predators and Threats
Larger marine animals including octopuses, giant groupers, and some sea anemones.

Leaves are chewed and then wadded to make a sponge to soak up water from rain-filled plants. They form gloves from leaves when climbing prickly surfaces. When it rains very hard the orangutan makes an umbrella for itself out of the big leaves of diptocarp trees.

We find simple aquarium sponge filters to be the most cost efficient. They also do not cause much turbulence, which is good when dealing with angelfish. One or two large sponge filters will handle most aquariums. We prefer the large square sponge filters with weighted slate bottoms.

The walls also had a number of moray eels, small triplefins, sponges, tunicates, anemones, and the wonderful Lord Howe Coralfish, a tropical species in the butterflyfish family that reaches the edge of its range in the Poor Knights. Also present off the wall were the large predatory Kingfish.

Habits: Adults feed on fish, gastropods, echinoderms (sea urchins), and in particular, sponges. A throat lined with spines aids in digestion of sponges. Their feeding on sponges causes succession to occur in reefs by freeing up space for the settlement of new organisms.

An alternative to fruit is to cut a piece of new sponge to fit inside a small animal feeding bowl or custard-size cup. Soak the sponge with water and place it inside the tank with the crickets; they will crawl up on the sponge and extract the water from it. Always keep something in the water bowl.

Certain sponges and mollusks burrow into the oyster valves for their own protection but may riddle the valves with extensive burrows. This weakens the shell and makes the oyster more vulnerable to predation.

This week in Fish: Moorish Idols and sponge eaters
Which fishes eat sponges?
Revealing some of our conservators
Who is the woman painting the background?
This week in Fish: Back to reality
Understanding Museums
Birds with a Beat dancers perform at the Museum 2011 ...

Use a sponge filter or internal box filter that does not use chemical filtration or Carbon, for these products will remove many types of medications. It is not recommended to use a strong power filter as the water disturbance may aggravate ailing fish.

Diet: Hawksbills are omnivorous, consuming sea grasses, sea urchins, barnacles, small animals and their favorite food, sponges. In the Caribbean, as hawksbills grow, they begin exclusively feeding on only a few types of sponges, and they can eat an average of 1200 lbs (544 kg) of sponges a year.

Members of the phylum Porifera, ("pore-bearer") are commonly known as sponges, and approximately 5,000 have been described by scientists. Until the 18 th century, scientists mistook them for plants.

The dolphins break sponges off and cover their snouts with them thus protecting their snouts while foraging. This knowledge of how to use a tool is mostly transferred from mothers to daughters, unlike simian primates, where the knowledge is generally passed on to both sexes.

The males now become greatly emaciated, and cease to gobble, their breast-sponge becoming flat. They then separate from the hens, and one might suppose that they had entirely deserted their neighbourhood.

Encrusting sponges are obvious on the exterior, as are the effects of two boring sponges. Smaller borings are the result of Cliona, whereas Siphonodictyon produces larger holes. Halimeda flakes and worm tubes are also present. Micritic ooze and internal sediment can also be distinguished.

The hawksbill lives the early part of its life in the open ocean but then is more often found around coral reefs and shallow lagoons, where it feeds mostly on sea sponges. Some of these sponges are highly toxic and lethal to other organisms and can also out-compete reef-building corals.

They are carnivores that slowly ply their range grazing on algae, sponges, anemones, corals, barnacles, and even other nudibranchs. To identify prey, they have two highly sensitive tentacles, called rhinophores, located on top of their heads.

They feed mainly on sponges by using their narrow pointed beaks to extract them from crevices on the reef, but also eat sea anemones and jellyfish. Sea turtles are the living representatives of a group of reptiles that has existed on Earth and travelled our seas for the last 100 million years.

Chimps sometimes chew leaves to make them absorbent and then use them as a sponge, dipping them in water and sucking out the moisture. They also use grass stems or twigs as tools, poking them into termite or ant nests and eating the insects that cling to them.

Four new species of 'killer sponges' from the deep sea
Result of slow degradation on environmental pollutants
Little-known Arctic comb jelly found in the Baltic Sea and Arctic
Ocean acidification robs reef fish of their fear of predators ...

They create tools from natural objects and have been observed using rocks to smash nutshells, sticks as weapons, and even leaves as sponges. This fascinating behavior, however, is not instinctual, but is culturally acquired through observation.

mesoderm -- In animals with three tissue layers (i.e. all except sponges and cnidarians), the middle layer of tissue, between the ectoderm and the endoderm. In vertebrates, for instance, the mesoderm forms the skeleton, muscles, heart, spleen, and many other internal organs.

... wetlands help control flooding by acting like a sponge and absorbing water.
... water is constantly being cycled between the earth and the atmosphere. What Do You Think? Click here to test your marine communities knowledge.
NatureFiles ...

Hobbles, and splinting or taping the legs to a sponge or through holes in a foam traction device have been tried with great success. These techniques have a much greater success rate if the condition is identified and treated while the bird is still early in development.

Its body is oval-shaped, its head is narrow, and its raptor-like jaws give the hawksbill its name. These jaws are perfectly adapted for collecting its preferred food, sponges.

Diet in the wild: fish, sponges, small crustaceans, nematode worms, protozoans.
Diet in the zoo: Fish Food and Dried Shrimp
Location in the zoo: James R Record Aquarium ...

Yes but so are Insects, Reptiles, Spiders, Sponges and Slugs. We need to do better than that.
Mammals are warm-blooded. Yes but so are birds, and birds are not mammals either.
So how do we describe a mammal??

Worms, diatoms, dead organic material, algae, small mollusks, sponges, and other shrimp
Predators
Spot shrimp themselves are often the diet of large predator fish such as halibut, Pacific cod, walleye pollock, flounders, and salmon
Reproduction ...

They employ branches to test water depth or poke termite holes, and they utilize leaves as umbrellas, sponges, or napkins. Furthermore, research from the National Zoo in Washington, DC has demonstrated their great capacity to reason, solve problems, and even use computers.

The larvae are maggots that feed on decaying animal or plant material, and the adults have sponge-like mouthparts for sucking up liquids. House flies spread germs which they often carry on their feet. Black flies (Family Simulidae) are important pests of wild animals and humans.

Cephlapodia . . . Corals . . . Crustaceans . . . Echinoderms . . . Bivalvia . . . Gastropods . . . Jellyfish . . . Sponges . . . Sea Squirts Tunicates . . . Nudibranches . . . Horseshoe Crabs . . . Worms
AQUATIC MAMMALS
Seals . . . Manatees . . . Whales & Dolphins ...

It feeds on algae and invertebrates like moss animals, sponges, small worms, echinoderms, mollusks, crabs and carrion. By flipping the large tail fan the European Spiny Lobster can quickly escape backwards in case of danger. Known enemies are octopus, conger and moray.

Then, cut up a sponge to fit into the cup and keep it filled with water for a nice butterfly bath. Or, you can try using an old aluminum pan lined with a cotton tea towel or paper towels as a butterfly bath. Just fill with water to provide a shallow puddle on a sunny day.

It primarily feeds upon bottom-dwelling invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, mussels, clams, oysters and shrimp.

Clarice Brough - 2012-01-19
Use a small flat container, like a baby food jar lid. Cut a piece of sponge to fit in the lid and thenfill it with water. This way they can get a drink without drowning.

An elephant's feet function to cushion its weight. Each leg is supported by sponge-like tissue located inside of each foot. Covering the bottom of each foot is a layer of thick, callous-like skin. There are toenails on the front of the feet for each toe.

INVERTEBRATE
Invertebrates are animals without a backbone. Some invertebrates include protozoans, arthropods (insects, arachnids, crustaceans, etc.), worms, jellyfish, sponges, mollusks (like cephalopods [octopus], gastropods, bivalves [clams, oysters, scallops]), and many others.
...

Rainforests, for example, contribute both to the process of soil formation and help to regulate the climate through photosynthesis - both producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. Wetlands act as sponge-like reservoirs in dry weather and help to filter and purify water.

A hide box located in the corner opposite the basking spot also is necessary because it allows the tortoise a cool, dim retreat, which will be well-utilized during the day. If desired, this hide box can be built to hold a removable dampened sponge in the top.

It is thought that invertebrates in some form or another have inhabited the planet for over 1 billion years. Invertebrates include insects, spiders, sponges, snails, octopuses, clams, squid, jellyfish, anemones, corals, starfish, sea urchins, worms - the list could go on to fill this page! ...

Up to 1 metric ton of squid per day is required to sustain a single sperm whale. Other than squid, these whales occasionally consume other deepwater prey including octopus, lobsters, crabs, jellyfish, sponges, and several varieties of fish.

They use sticks to fish for insects, poking the twigs into the holes of ant or termite mounds and pulling them out, covered with wiggling food. Chimps use stones to crack open hard-shelled nuts or fruits. They also use leaves as sponges, either to soak up drinking water or to clean the body.

You might not think it, but invertebrates, or animals without a spinal chord, make up most of the animal kingdom. These include sponges, jellyfish, worms, arthropods (insects, shrimp, spiders), mollusks (snails, clams, octopuses), and echinoderms (sea urchins, sea stars).

Invertebrates are found in every type of habitat but are most plentiful in the oceans. There are more than 30 types of invertebrates in this diverse group which includes sponges, jellyfish, flatworms, squid, crabs, venomous spiders and butterflies.

If burying food scraps, cover them with at least 8 inches of soil and don't leave any garbage above ground in the area—including a smelly shovel. Keep all open or lightly covered compost piles the consistency of a wrung out sponge to make them unfavorable to nesting rats.

Diet is variable; juveniles are primarily carnivorous, while adults may specialise in sea grass and algae, bottom-dwelling invertebrates or corals and sponges depending on species.

Between the highly weatherproofed plumage and layer of fat there is a mantle of warmed air that also helps keep them warm. Without all this protection, the penguins would absorb water just like a sponge and quickly sink to the bottom of the sea.

During the breeding season they supplement their fish diet with caddisflies, mayflies, backswimmers, flies, water striders, dragonflies, crane flies, beetles, caterpillars, freshwater sponges, spiders, snails, mussels, and other invertebrates.

See also: See also: What is the meaning of Shell, Turtle, Shark, Sea Turtle, Coral?

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