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Phylum Porifera

Sponges, which are in the phylum Porifera, have no symmetry and a cellular level of organization. They are all sessile and may be encrusting or grow upright. Sponges are filter feeders and actively trap food particles that are swept into their body cavities. Different species of sponges have different support systems. Some have tiny starburst-shaped spicules made of silica (glass) embedded in their bodies; some have spicules made of calcium carbonate. Other species have a thick, rubbery support system made up of a protein called spongin. Some sponges have both spicules and spongin, some have only one or the other, and some have neither.

Click on the links below to learn more about different sponges that are found in the intertidal of the Gulf of California. To go back to the Gallery of Marine Life, click here.

To take a practice quiz on the Phylum Porifera, click here.


page last updated on 9/02/03

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