Depending on the sponge, food is obtained through filtering water for nutrient-rich particles or snaring small sea creatures with specially adapted arms. Most sponges are detritivorous, consuming debris particles and microscopic life forms that float their way.Continue Reading
Living sponges are very similar to the cellulose sponges used for dish washing. Their open holes or pores, draw in water, filtering it for particle consumption. The water is then ejected from their bodies. The sponges eat using sticky, funnel-shaped collar cells that sway, drawing water through the cell. The collar cells also expel waste through a flagella, a long whip-like structure that holds the collar portion of the cell in place. The entire surface of the sponge can absorb food like this, making it a highly efficient feeder.
Scientists discovered the Harp sponge. Living at 11,000 feet under the sea, the Harp sponge was the first carnivorous sponge to be identified. They fish with arms known as vanes, which radiate out from their center. Each vane has vertical branches lined with hooks that snare tiny shrimp when the current brings them by. The sponge then envelops the shrimp in a membrane and digests it slowly.
There are two major divisions of sponge, encrusting, and free-standing. Encrusting sponges have amorphous, somewhat shapeless bodies. They cling to solid surfaces, such as rock, and grow in colonies, creating carpet like areas. Free-standing sponges have more distinct body shapes and come in a variety of forms. The largest free-standing sponge is the barrel sponge, which can stand taller than 6 feet. Because food rich waters are needed to allow sponges to grow to this size, larger sponges are found in deeper waters that are rich with life.Learn more about Marine Life
Most bivalves absorb nutrition by filter feeding, which involves drawing particles of food into their gills through their mouths and into their stomachs. Some bivalves trap food with mucus-covered tentacles. Others are carnivorous, using siphons to draw in worms, larvae and crustaceans that are then pushed into their mouths.Full Answer >
A radula is an anatomical structure found in shellfish and other molluscs to gather algae and other food particles. The structure is tongue-like in appearance and possesses rows of minute teeth which it uses as tools to gather nutrients from its surroundings.Full Answer >
Sponges filter food particles out of the water by forcing the water through their porous bodies with a self-generated miniature current, which brings particles within reach of the walls of their pores where cells absorb them. Sponges are complex organisms whose cells perform many different tasks such as directing the flow of water through the sponge, extracting nutrients from food and many other things.Full Answer >
Two siphons, located in the clam's shell lining, move water in and out of the clam to filter oxygen and food out of the water. These siphons are located next to one another and rise vertically towards the sea bed to gather water. Cilia, which are small hair-like protuberances, create currents in the siphons. The shell is buried in sand or mud, while the fleshy body reaches up for water.Full Answer >