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PHYLUM Porifera Common name: Sponges

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1 PHYLUM Porifera Common name: Sponges
There are 900 species in this group - mostly marine . Below are several examples. Yellow sponge Vase sponge Tube sponge

2 Key Characteristics of Sponges
multicellular with few specialized cells (no mouth, tissues, or organ systems) asymmetrical- no front/back or left/right sides simple skeleton: Harder sponges: skeleton is made of spiny spicules Softer sponges: skeleton is made of spongin, a network of flexible protein fibers. harvested and used as natural bath sponges. Natural bath sponge

3 Barrel Sponge Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Porifera Class: Demospongiae
Order: Haplosclerida Family: Petrosiidae Genus: Xestospongia Species: X. testudinari

4 7 Essential Functions

5 Feeding specialized cells with flagella
Filter feeders: sifting microscopic food particles from the water. Fundamental question: How do choanocytes help sponges feed? specialized cells with flagella move a steady current of water (and food!) through the sponge. Note: also helps bring oxygen & carry away waste

6 Respiration, Circulation, Excretion
As water moves through the body cavity, oxygen dissolved in the water diffuses into the cells of the sponge. At the same time, waste such as carbon dioxide and ammonia diffuse into the water and are carried away. Water flow brings oxygen and carries away wastes

7 Response Very limited… no nervous system.
Many sponges protect themselves by producing toxins that make them poisonous to potential predators. Toxic Poison Finger Sponge- note the aposematic coloration!

8 Reproduction Sexual reproduction Hermaphrodites: Asexual reproduction
produce both egg and sperm, but at different times. Asexual reproduction Some sponges can reproduce by a process called budding.

9 Movement Sessile as adults Only able to move during the larva stage

10 Ecology SPONGES… provide habitat for marine animals - snails, sea stars and shrimp are a food source for many organisms such as sea stars and fishes. Mutualistic symbiosis: provide a protected place for bacteria, algae and plantlike protists to grow. These photosynthetic organisms provide food and oxygen to the sponge. Small fish can hide inside sponges

11 Threatened species: Cloud Sponge
-They are extremely fragile… bodies are composed of silica (glass) Bottom trawling breaks their bodies- threatening the survival of the population Threatened cloud sponge

12 Resources Miller, Kenneth and Levine, Joseph. Biology. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, "Marine Mysteries - Could Solving These Mysteries Save The Oceans?" Marine Mysteries. World Wildlife Federation, n.d. Web. 11 June < "Treasures of the Sea Exhibit." Treasures of the Sea. Delaware Technical Community College, n.d. Web. 11 June <

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