Thursday, January 1, 2009

Life Photo Meme: Honor an invert

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Porifera
Class: Demospongiae
Order: Dendroceratida
Family: Darwinellidae

For this month's honor an invert, I decided to go basic. Really basic. This is Aplysilla glacialis, the keratose sponge. It is found in the low intertidal zones to 84 meters (275 ft) down, all over the world.

This sponge is interesting because it lacks spicules; hard calcium or silica pieces that help act as the sponge's 'skeletal system'. Spicules are the classical way to identify and classify sponges, so this presented a problem. Now-a-days, they use not only the spicules, but also fibers and the secondary chemical compounds which it produces to help classify it.

1 comment:

Eric Heupel said...

What a great way to start the new year!!!