Phylum Porifera

Purple Tube Sponge

Purple Encrusting Sponge - Haliclona sp.

Giant barrel sponge- Xestospongia muta

Sponges are considered the oldest living animal phylum. We may have originated from a sponge!  The name Porifera means “pore bearer” in Latin. Sponges are the only animals that if broken down to the level of their cells can miraculously reassemble and regenerate themselves.  They filter water to harvest small amounts of microscopic food.

Here’s a video showing the filtering process in action:

And since sponges are animals…they reproduce with sex cells.  How?

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