Phylum porifera
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Phylum Porifera. The Sponges. Typical sponges and their structure. Figure 12.04. I.Characteristics of Sponges. Multicellular – The body of sponges is a loose aggregation of cells Body containing pores , canals and chambers Mostly marine ; all aquatic

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Phylum Porifera

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Phylum Porifera

The Sponges

Typical sponges and their structure

Figure 12.04

I.Characteristics of Sponges

Multicellular – The body of sponges is a loose aggregation of cells

Body containing pores, canals and chambers

Mostly marine; all aquatic

Symmetry is either radial or they have NO symmetry

Skeleton of proteins (collagen and/or spongin) with spicules

NO true organs or tissues

Adults are sessile and attached to substratum

II. Form and Function

Sponge Pores

A. Incurrent pores are called Ostia

B. Excurrent pores are called Oscula.

C. Specialized collar cells

called choanocytes

create water flow and aid in digestion of small particles.

Choanocytes in the Mesohyl

These choanocytes are located throughout The mesohyl - the matrix in which all sponge cells are embedded.

D. Flat epidermal cells known as pinacocytes aid in surrounding and protecting the body of the sponge.

E. Special amebocytic cells, called archaeocytes,carry out a variety of functions – especially digestion and protein formation andspicule formation.

A. Calcareousspiculesare made of CaCO3. They are formed from the mineral elements

in the saltwater around them by special archaeocytes.

III.Types of Spicules

B. Siliceousspicules are made of SiO2. They are formed from different elements in the water by other archaeocytes.

IV.Types of Proteins

Spongin is a protein found in only SOME sponges – not all!

The other form of protein, collagen, is found in ALL sponges, as well as allotheranimals.

V. Sponge Body Plans

The simplest body plan is the Asconoid, where the choanocytes are located in the spongocoel, or hollow, internal, water filled gastrovascular cavity.

A typical Asconoid Sponge

The second most complicated sponge body plan is the Syconoid sponge. It’s choanocytes are located in Radial Canals.

Sponge Body Plans (2)

Killing cells

A Typical Syconoid Sponge

Killer Cells

Sponge Body Plans (3)

The largest and most complicated sponges by far are the leuconoid sponges. They have their choanocytes in flagellated chambers, which increase water flow and feeding efficiency.

A Typical Yellow Tube Sponge(Demosponge)









A. ClassCalcarea – Heavily calcareous sponges containing

straight calcareous spiculesand collagen

B. Class Hexactinellida– radially symmetrical deep water sponges with six-rayed siliceous spicules. These are often beautiful and range from a few centimeters to more than 1.3 meters in length , and contain collagen.

C. Class Demospongia– By far the largest group, containing 95% of all living sponges in the world. Spicules are siliceous, but not six rayed. They may or may not contain spongin, but like all sponges , they do have collagen.

Calcareous Sponge

Hexactinellid Glass Sponges

Two examples of the remains of Euplectella

A Common Demosponge

Coming Change?

D. There is another group of sponges, called the Sclerospongiae that are currently classified as Demosponges. They have been classified in their own Class Sclerospongiae, but are now classified with the Demospongiae. These are all found in dark crevices in the ocean and are seldom found in the open, and are usually fairly colorful. It is possible that they may become their own class again in the future.

VII. Sponge Reproduction

A. Asexual Reproduction:

Carried out by budding (fragmentation) OR

by gemmules – internal buds created to allow

them to withstand adverse weather conditions;

usually over the winter.

B. Sexual Reproduction:

Carried out by normal sperm and egg process; sperm

are usually carried out of the osculum of one sponge

and into the ostia of another. All sponges are

hermaphrodites – containing both male and female

sex organs

Test– Next Class Meeting!

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