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Xestospongia rosariensis. Although (1816) separated the sponges in a group Spongiaria allied to Protozoa. They may be over 100 years old, as the sponges grow only about 1.5 cm a year. The largest sponges on Conch Reef, about the size of an oil barrel, were estimated to be about 130 years old. Brown Encrusting Octopus Sponge. Giant Barrel Sponges, like all sponges, are attached to the reef surface and are unable to move. The giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) is the largest species of sponge found growing on Caribbean coral reefs. Dark Volcano Sponge. [5] The sponge grows on any hard surface; the smallest individuals observed are about 1 cm. Small fish and many invertebrates live on and inside these huge animals, which live on tropical coral reefs. The giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) is the largest species of sponge found growing on Caribbean coral reefs. The harp sponge lives in deep sea. 6. It develops a very thick outer layer of up to 5 inches. It is common at depths greater than 10 metres (33 ft) down to 120 metres (390 ft) and can reach a diameter of 1.8 metres (6 feet). 1. Leeches have teeth and they inject an anesthetic so you do not feel when they are on you.. Leeches teeth are strong enough to bite into a hippos skin. Interesting Harp Sponge Facts: 1-7. [9], The giant barrel sponge is probably dioecious, and spawns its eggs or sperm directly into the water column. Not only is the giant barrel sponge the largest sponge alive today; it's also one of the longest-lived invertebrate animals on earth, some individuals persisting for up to 1,000 years. Found singly or in small colonies over reef faces and flats of coral and rocky reefs. Learn fun facts about marine science and ecosystems, and learn how you can help by clicking a category below. 2. 1. It is really not cool to learn that a sponge can actually hunt but yes, there are many carnivorous sponge species and the harp sponge is one of them. 9. Giant Barrel Sponge. It is typically brownish-red to brownish-gray in color, with a hard or stony texture. Some deep-water sponges can live for over 200 years! In this study, we used molecular techniques to study populations of giant barrel sponges across the globe and assessed whether the genetic structure of these populations agreed with current taxonomic consensus or, in contrast, whether there was … The order is Haplosclerida. The domain is Eukarya. Like other sponges, Xestospongia muta is a filter feeder, pumping sea water in through its sides, extracting the tasty microorganisms, and expelling waste out of its capacious top. [4] It is perhaps the best-studied species of sponge in the sea; a population on Conch Reef, in the Florida Keys, has been monitored and studied since 1997. Sponges have existed for at least 500 million years. Populations of this spe-cies occupy greater than 9% of the available reef substrate in some regions (Zea 1993). [8], The giant barrel sponge is a filter feeder. These are the largest animals in certain categories such as largest insect, largest land animal, tallest anima, etc. It serves as a habitat for various invertebrates which live on the surface or in the interior[5] and is grazed upon by some parrotfish. Length - 1.5m Depth - … Branching Vase Sponge very much infested with Sponge zoanthids and Sponge Brittle Stars. A team of scientists led by Dr Lonny Lundsten of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing, California, has discovered an extraordinary new species of carnivorous sponge. Like most sponges, this species has a glass-like skeleton. [15], The giant barrel sponge is an important member of the reef community. Orange Lumpy Encrusting Sponge. Red-Orange Encrusting Sponge. Their body is made of a reticulation of cells aggregate on a siliceous scaffold composed of small spikes called spicules. The morphology and physiology of sponges were first adequately understood by who created in 1836 the name Porifera for the group by which it is now generally known, iuxle (1875) and Sollas (1884) proposed the complete separation of sponges from other Metazoa on the grounds of many peculiarities. [2] The giant barrel sponge has been called the "redwood of the reef"[3] because of its size and estimated lifespan of hundreds to a thousand or more years. Giant barrel sponges, like all sponges, are attached to the reef surface and are unable to move. Orange Sieve Encrusting Sponge. 3. Leeches can be used to help people.They are used to help drain blood. [14] The cause and transmission of this pathogenic condition remains a mystery. Dark Volcano Sponge. The largest individual for which a photograph was available (now dead) was estimated to be 2300 years old. 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