the best science on the web about
sponges

The Shape of Life: Sponges
Image: iStockphoto.com/KevinPanizza

The Shape of Life: Sponges

Sponges represent the oldest branch of the animal kingdom, the Porifera. They have asymmetrical bodies covered by skin that is only one cell thick. The skin contains pores that allow water to enter and exit the canals and chambers inside the animal.

A sponge’s body contains no organs or tissue. Instead, it is made up of a number of diversified cells that perform the tasks related to keeping the sponge alive.

Sea Studios Foundation
Loading...
Dr. Cristina Diaz: Taxonomist

Dr. Cristina Diaz: Taxonomist

From the moment she first strapped on a scuba tank for a dive in waters off her native Venezuela, Cristina Diaz was hooked on undersea wonders. Now she’s a world-renowned sponge specialist. More...

Profile
Sea Studios Foundation
Introduction to Porifera

Introduction to Porifera

Porifera, aka sponges, are very rudimentary animals. Most feed by filtering organisms through pores in their cell walls. Some species are carnivorous, drilling holes into mollusk shells to get to the squishy parts. More...

Article
University of California, Berkeley
Scientists Discover Extraordinary New Carnivorous Sponge

Scientists Discover Extraordinary New Carnivorous Sponge

It looks like a delicate musical instrument, but it's a hardcore predator. The harp sponge lurks in the depths off the coast of California, where it preys on crustaceans. More...

Video
MBARI
The Shape of Life: Proof of the First Animal, Mitchell Sogin

The Shape of Life: Proof of the First Animal, Mitchell Sogin

When you draw your family tree, be sure to include your oldest ancestors: the sponges. Evolutionary biologist Mitchell Sogin investigates the genes of the sponge. More...

Profile
Sea Studios Foundation
Living Ocean Gallery: Sponges

Living Ocean Gallery: Sponges

Sponges — a life form that reaches back more than 500 million years — have colonized ocean bottoms around the world. These sponge images show the range of their diversity. More...

Images
NOAA
Orange Elephant Ear Sponge

Orange Elephant Ear Sponge

You’d expect an elephant ear sponge to live up to its name — and it does. This species grows as a large, lumpy mat that resembles an elephant ear and can also form large mounds. More...

Article
NOAA
The Sponge Guide

The Sponge Guide

You don’t have to be planning a diving trip to Caribbean coral reefs to enjoy this guide. Take your own virtual tour of the 200 sponge species offered here. More...

Images
The Sponge Guide
The Wonderful World of the Sea Sponge

The Wonderful World of the Sea Sponge

Ride a submersible to the slopes of Himalaya-size undersea mountains to the “sponge belt,” a zone where sponges flourish. Check out the nine-foot elephant ear sponge! More...

Video
BBC

Latest Comments

You Also Might Like

  1. apes

    apes

  2. birds of prey

    birds of prey

  3. sight

    sight

  4. pet birds

    pet birds

  5. sheep

    sheep