Sponges actually belong to the phylum Porifera. The Word Porifera is derived from porus= pore, and ferra= to bear. The Porifera are pore-bearing animals, commonly called sponges having holes or pores on their bodies. they are multicellular and have no organs. sound absorption in buildings and many other purposes are major causes for the economic Importance of Phylum Porifera.
This is a Complete Guide About Phylum Porifera Examples and Characteristics.
This article You’ll Learn:
- What is Phylum Porifera (Definition)
- Some Porifera Examples
- Common name
- habitat of Porifera
- classes and more….!
Let’s get started.
Sponges are found almost everywhere in the world but a large number are found in tropical water. All animals are aquatic. Out of the total of 5000 species, 150 species live in water while all other species are marine. They are called the most primitive phyla of the animal kingdom.
General Characteristics of Sponges
sponges almost have a needlelike structure which is called spicules. you can barely find it on their soft body wall. by pressing the bodies of sponges, they secrete unpleasant sensations.
- These animals are multicellular. There is no tissue organization. So they have no organs.
- Sponges lack symmetry.
- The body wall of most sponges is formed of two layers.
- Pinacoderm: It ¡s the outer layer. It is made up of cells called pinacocytes.
- Choanoderm: It is the inner layer. It is made up of flagellated cells called choanocytes.
- Between two layers s present gelatinous mesenchyma. This mesenchyma contains amoeboid cells and spicules (skeleton) or spongin fibers.
- The size of Porifera may be from a few millimeters wide to more than one meter tall. So sponges are macroscopic i.e. can be seen with the naked eye. Scolymatra Roubini is a barrel-like glass sponge of Antarctica. It is more than a meter tall.
- There is a single cavity inside the body called spongocoel. This spongocoel may be divided into flagellated chambers or canals. These canals or chambers are lined by flagellated choanocytes.
- Numerous pores are present in the body wall. There are two types of pores.
- Ostia: The pores through which water enters the body are called Ostia.
- Osculum: The pore through which water leaves the body is called Osculum. It is the main body opening.
- There are no respiratory or circulatory organs in them.
- The sponges are sessile. So they depend on water current for food. The movement of this water current within the spongocoel takes place by the flagella of choanocytes. The 20% food of sponges is small animals, zooplankton, plants, and phytoplankton. 80% of their food consists of decomposed organic particles.
- The food enters the spongocoel through Ostia. The flagellated choanocytes ingest (b) this food from spongocoel.
- The waste products directly diffuse out of the body wall or they are removed through the osculum.
- The sponges are stationary. They remain attached to the rock or other solid objects at the bottom. Their larvae can move.
- There is no definite nervous system in them. However, some neurosensory and neuron cells are present. These cells coordinate the flow of water.
- The skeleton is composed of spicules. These spicules are different-shaped needle-like structures. They may be calcareous (made up of CaCO3) or siliceous (silica or sand). The bathe sponge has a skeleton of sponging fibers. The skeleton is present among the pinacocytes.
These are also present around the osculum and Ostia. Skeleton provides support to the body.
- Sponges reproduce both asexually and sexually.
- Asexual reproduction: It takes place by budding. The bud may be external or internal. The internal bud is called gemmules. Bud develops into a new sponge.
- Sexual reproduction: Some species of sponges reproduce sexually. These are mostly hermaphrodite and protandrous (male sex cells develop first). In some sponges the sexes are separate. The sperm are released into the water. They enter the spongocoel and are carried to the egg by amoeboid cells.
Fertilization occurs ¡n the mesenchyma and zygote are formed. The embryo passes through blastula and larval stages during its development.
Examples of Phylum Porifera
- Sycon: It is a typical marine sponge.
- Leucoselenia: It consists of a group of erect tubes.
- Euplectella: It is a beautiful and delicate sponge. It is made up of a glassy framework (e). It is commonly called the Venus flower basket.
- Spongilla: It is a freshwater sponge.
- Calcareous porifers or calcareous sponges
- Porphyry demospongiae or demosponges
- Oroid Agelas (Agelasida)
- Volcano Red Sponge (Acarnus Erithacus)
- Chondrosia reniformis (Chondrosida)
- Aplysina aerophobia (Verongida)
- Spongia officinalis (Dictyoceratida)
- Phorbas tenacior (Poecilosclerida)
- Spirastrella cunctatrix (Hadromerida)
- Petrosia ficiformis (Haplosclerida)
- Phakellia sp. (Halichondrida)
- Hexactinelide porifers
- Euplectella aspergillum
- Pheronema carpenteri
- Farrea sollasi
Economics Importance of Phylum Porifera (Sponges)
- Man uses the skeleton of sponges for washing and bathing. Many artificial sponges have been made from synthetic materials. But still, there is much demand for natural sponges. It is an important industry in any part of the world. The best commercial sponges are found in the warm water of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Sponges have a great capacity to absorb water. So they are used in surgical operations for absorbing fluid and blood.
- Sponges are also used for sound absorption in buildings.
- during the cultivation of radish and other fast-growing seeds and food items, sponges are used to maintain agriculture on a large scale.
- for the quick sprouting out of seeds in agriculture, sponges are used as moistened. it creates a container around the seed.
- to avoid cracks, it is also used as a box with fragile things to protect them from having cracks on them. which provides softness and safety against being breakable.
- sponges play an important role in catching oil leaks. they are wrapped up with some tools to hold them safely so that they don’t slip into your hands.
- they are also used to try the inside of the vase by putting it on a stick.
- mixing it in soaps and detergents saves soaps from melting fast, more ever, putting sponges on the soaps can suck extra water which caused the melting down of the soap.
- it can be used to eliminate the stinking odor from the refrigerator by sprinkling a small amount.
- by putting some sponges on the base of wares, it can avoid wares from scratches.
- it is also used to remove sticking wallpapers from the walls just because of soaking the sponges into the water and vaping it over the wall with the help of stubborn left paper.
- used as a scrub while taking bath.
Watch Video About Phylum Porifera
Other Related Phyla:
- phylum Porifera Characteristics & Examples
- Phylum Chordata Characteristics & Classification
- Characteristics of Phylum Echinodermata
- Phylum Nematoda Characteristics, Examples
- Phylum Mollusca Characteristics and Examples
- Phylum Arthropoda Characteristics and Examples
- Phylum Annelida Characteristics and Examples
- Phylum Platyhelminthes Characteristics and Examples
- Phylum Coelenterata Characteristics and Examples
- Phylum Protozoa: Characteristics & Groups/Classes