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Sponges

General information

Sponges are the simplest of multi-cellular animals. There are many different types of sponges in the world's oceans, and, contrary to popular belief, they can be quite colorful and beautiful. There are two basic types of sponge known, encrusting and free-standing. Encrusting sponges typically cover the surface of a rock like moss covers a rock on land. Free-standing sponges have more inner volume compared with their outside surface area and grow into strange shapes and sometimes they reaching gigantic proportions.

A sponge is a bottom-dwelling creature which attaches itself to something solid in a place where it can, hopefully, receive enough food to grow. Sponges are very effective filter feeders, since they are able to capture and eat particles as small as bacteria as well as much larger particles. The skeleton of the sponge is composed of tiny needle-like splinters called spicules, a mesh of protein called spongin, or a combination of both.

Most sponges are known as hermaphroditic, but produce only one type of gamete per spawn. The sperm is released into the water column by the "male" sponge and finds its way to the "female" sponges, where fertilization occurs internally.

Acanthella

Agelas

Aiolochroia

Aka

Amphilectus

Amphimedon

Aphrocallistes

Aplysilla

Aplysina

Asbestopluma

Axinella

Biemna

Callyspongia

Calyx

Celtodoryx

Chalinula

Chelonaplysilla

Chondrilla

Chondrosia

Cinachyra

Cinachyrella

Ciocalypta

Clathria

Clathrina

Cliona

Collospongia

Crambe

Crella

Cribrochalina

Dendrilla

Dercitus

Desmapsamma

Diplastrella

Dysidea

Echinochalina

Echinoclathria

Ectyoplasia

Euplectella

Gelliodes

Geodia

Halichondria

Haliclona

Halisarca

Hamigera

Hemimycale

Hexadella

Higginsia

Hymedesmia

Hymeniacidon

Hyrtios

Ianthella

Iotrochota

Ircinia

Kirkpatrickia

Lamellodysidea

Leucandra

Leucetta

Leuconia

Leucosolenia

Liosina

Monanchora

Mycale

Myrmekioderma

Myxilla

Neofibularia

Neopetrosia

Niphates

Oscarella

Pachymatisma

Pandaros

Pericharax

Petrosia

Phorbas

Phycopsis

Piona

Pione

Pleraplysilla

Polymastia

Prosuberites

Protosuberites

Pseudosuberites

Ptilocaulis

Raspaciona

Raspailia

Sarcotragus

Schwamm,

Scopalina

Spheciospongia

Spirastrella

Spongia

Stelletta

Strongylophora

Stylissa

Suberea

Suberites

Svenzea

Sycon

Tedania

Terpios

Tethya

Theonella

Trikentrion

Ulosa

Verongula

Xestospongia