Glass sponges belong to the class Hexactinellids from Porifera of the kingdom Animalia. Let us see some of the types of glass sponges.
- Euplectella aspergillum
- Euplectella paratetractina
- Euplectella plumosum
- Euplectella simplex
- Euplectella suberea
- Euplectella timorensis
- Staurocalyptus dowlingii
- Pattersonia ulrichi
- Rhabdocalyptus dawsoni
- Acanthascus platei
- Acanthascus cactus
Let us discuss some of the characteristic features of glass sponges along with its lifespan and lifecycle in this article.
Glass sponges characteristics
Glass sponges are a great example of marine fossils from الكائنات متعددة الخلايا on Earth. Let us understand some of its features.
Listed below are major characteristic features of glass sponges:
- Glass sponges are none other than the sponges from the phylum Porifera.
- Glass sponges are native to Antarctica, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines and also some مناطق اليابان
- The body of glass sponge is composed of silica spicules and spongin fibres resembling the cross-network structure, white, glossy and delicate with fibre-optic properties.
- Engineers use fibre-optic properties to make buildings and dense infrastructure by using a lattice skeleton structure. Even The Great Eiffel Tower is an existing example of the mechanism.
- Glass sponges have tiny spicules up to 3 metres long, narrower at the base and attached to the surface.
- Mainly sycon and leucon type of body cavity is found in glass sponges. أوستيا is absent, so water channels are present for proper water circulation.
- Glass sponges have the ability to forward the conduction of electric signals fastly throughout their body.
- Glass sponges feed upon molluscs, crustaceans, organic debris and some other plankton and are eaten by echinoderms.
- Glass sponges also show a very legitimate mutualism with الجمبري. As they provide shelter and food by filtration to the shrimps in return, they use clean and waste management.
- Glass sponges are also known as ‘Venus Flower Basket’ and are used as wedding gifts in many Asian countries. As both of the mating couple live intact inside the basket till death.
- The couple lives there for long-life and reproduces. The Young one leaves the glass house and searches for a new shelter.
Glass sponges lifespan
Lifespan is defined as the years survived by an organism. Let us see the lifespan of glass sponges.
The lifespan of a glass sponge is believed to be ∽10000 years. Some researchers also concluded that they have long-life and are the longest living organism on mother earth. They are mostly found in sea beds. Sometimes, they are fused to form reefs.
A specimen of this sponges-Scolymastra joubini was expected to live more than 20000 years long. Siliceous deposition collected at the depths and became bioherms termed sponge reefs. These silica spicules protect the sponges from many predators like Squat lobsters, decorator crabs and prawns etc.
Glass sponges life cycle
Glass sponges are multicellular and multinucleated animals from lower invertebrates. Let us discuss the life cycle of glass sponges.
Listed below shows a detailed view of the life cycle of glass sponges:
- The generalized life cycle of freshwater sponges consists of five stages that repeat several times a year.
- Vegetative growth is followed by embryogenesis, cryptobiosis (diapause), embryo hatching and regeneration.
- When reproduction occurs, parenchymella larvae are produced and shed before developing into mature sponges.
- After the planktonic drifting, these swimming larvae are carried by water currents to a suitable surface or any rock for attachment and develop into an adult.
- An adult glass sponge has different types of cells like porocytes, choanocytes, amoebocytes, pinacocytes, sclerocytes and many more that perform multiple functions as per the division of labour.
In my conclusion, glass sponges are named on their composition and resemblance. They do not have ostia but the osculum is present on either side of the body and acts as an excretory pore. As per the researchers, they are the longest-living organism in the world.