Sponges are the simplest form of animals that can be found mostly in the sea. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and provide a very colorful landscape to the world under water. These simple animals are often referred to as sea plants because of their appearance and jelly-like bodies. These animals have only 4 cells in total with each cell performing specific functions to compensate their lack for organ systems and even muscle tissue. What they have is a jelly like body with tentacles that are able to let water flow through thousands of pores. Below are some interesting facts about sponges:
Fact 1: Sponges or poriferas do not have any body system whatsoever. Their cellular components perform special functions without the need for a coordinated effort between different systems like those from other multi-cellular animals.
Fact 2: The pores in the tentacle or flagella of sponges take in the food that these animals need. These openings will readily accept food items in the form of bacteria and sea algae for example.
Fact 3: Some sponge species are able to eat very small animals like shrimps and fishes. Despite their jelly-like appearance, some species can actually trap and hold small animals for their eating needs.
Fact 4: About 1% of the 5000 species of sponges live in freshwater. Most people may have only seen sponges when snorkelling and diving in sea water, but some 100 or so species can also be found in freshwater. These rare sponges have similar tentacles that are able to allow water to pass through and trap food particles like algae and bacteria.
Fact 5: sponges are strong animals. These plant-like and simple creatures may appear very soft and jelly-like but they are pretty strong enough to withstand the pressure from the water in the sea bed. There are instances when water current is so high that these small creatures need to stick to whatever they are holding on to in order to survive.
Fact 6: Most species of sponges are hermaphrodites. This simply means that they have both male and female sex organs. With this property, sponges can reproduce on their own without the help of other sponges.
Fact 7: Some sponges don’t stay in one location but rather move around. Many people may assume that these plant-like animals stay in one place just like sea plants but some species actually try to move slowly and stick to other rocks for example. It may take quite a lot of time but some sponges prefer to move around where there is more food to catch.
Fact 8: The pores in sponges are experts in filtration. These pores found in their entire bodies allow sponges to take in or absorb only the things they need like water and food. When there is sand or dirt for example, these pores filter them out for health reasons.
Fact 9: Some sponge species change their body shape depending on their environment. This is basically one way of adapting to their surroundings for survival.
Fact 10: Sponges can live for more than 100 years. Some species can even survive the deep waters of the sea for 200 years. This depends of course if there are no natural predators or sea pollution involved which is done by humans.