Sea Sponge Controversy

Noun Challenge: July 4, 2014

Today’s noun: Sponge

I figured I could either talk about kitchen sponges, or sea sponges. Which one sounds more interesting?

So here are some cool facts about sea sponges:

  • Sea sponges are classified as animals, not plants
  • Sea sponges have no brain or central nervous system
  • They tend to grab onto a solid location and remain there permanently
  • Sponges feed by filtering plankton and other tiny particles in the water
  • Sponges reproduce by catching sperm; fertilization takes place within the sponge
  • The larva settles on the ocean floor and produces baby sponges

Now that you know about sponge sex, let’s talk about the mini controversy surrounding these little guys.

Some of you may know that sea sponges are harvested for use as bath sponges and other science-y stuff. I don’t really want to get into all of that in an attempt to keep this post short (it is a holiday here). Anyway, some people say that these little guys shouldn’t be harvested from their natural environment because it could cause problems within the ecosystem. Imagine a fish tank with nothing to filter the water. It’d get pretty dirty, right? But the other side of the argument says that these sponges reproduce quickly enough that removing a few sponges will not damage the ecosystem. Also, only seven out of about five-thousand species of sea sponge are actually harvested. So, what do you guys think? Should sea sponge harvesting continue?

Sorry for typos and such! See you tomorrow!


p.s. Americans, have a nice holiday!


2 thoughts on “Sea Sponge Controversy

  1. mikemattice says:

    Yes, yes… but do sea sponges poop? Inquiring minds want to know. Should they be harvested? I have never heard one single sponge complain!

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