Examples of Porifera Animals: Definition and Characteristics

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Know the definition, characteristics, classification, and some examples of sponges that are spread all over the world. In this phylum, there are about 5000 species of animals scattered in waters around the world, especially in the sea and each species has its own characteristics.

Porifera definition

The definition of a sponge is an organism that has pores so that water can flow through it. Poriferam is a phylum in Animalia that belongs to the category without backbones or invertebrates.

Phylum Porifera, also known as sponges or sponges, are the simplest or most primitive multi-celled organisms. This is because the collection of cells is not yet organized and does not have true organs. Even though it is an animal, its life is sedentary, slow-moving or not even at all.

The size of the phylum Porifera animals varies depending on the type, some are only a few centimeters high, and some reach meters high. Its habitat is scattered in water areas such as seas and fresh waters.

Because they are animals, these organisms cannot make their own food. They need other organisms to fulfill their food, for example by eating small organisms such as plankton.

Porifera characteristics

  • Habitat in the waters such as in the sea and freshwater.
  • There are various body shapes such as tubes, ovals, sponges, and so on.
  • The porous body wall is called Ostium, and usually, the largest pore is located at the top.
  • It doesn’t have true organs, so we can’t tell which mouth, eyes, and so on.
  • They don’t have a digestive system, they don’t have a nervous system, and they don’t have a respiratory system.
  • Not moving or difficult to move because the body is attached.
  • Because it is porous, its body can easily be passed by water flow.
  • Generative reproduction in hermaphrodites in which sperm cells and ovum cells are produced in one individual.

Porifera Classification

1. Class Hexacttinellida

In the class Hexacttinellida, the animals have spicules composed of silica (like glass) or grit. Porifera animals in this class generally live in the deep sea up to 5000 meters. The height can reach 90 cm. The body frame is cylindrical, flat, and stem.

2. Calcarea class

Porifera in Class Calcarea are usually found in shallow seas. This type has spicules derived from limestone, there are spicules that are monoaxons, triaxons, and tetraaxons.

3. Class Demospongiae

In this class, sponges have spicules that are formed from protein and excreta substances. Its body is rather soft, has no body support and its habitat is in shallow seas. In general, the color of the demosponge is bright, but there are some that are dark in color. It is known that this class is the largest sponge class, its habitat is beaches but some are in freshwater

Note: Spicules are structural elements found in phylum Porifera, spicules are useful as a framework for sponges so as to provide structural support.

5 Examples of Porifera Animals

1. Hyalonema

Hyalonema is a Porifera from the Hexacttinellida class, the color is clear white like glass, has pores on its body, and has a brown stalk. If observed more closely from the edge, it looks like a tulip flower.

2. Clathrina Heronesis

Clathrina belongs to the phylum Porifera or sponge which belongs to the class Calcarea. The scientific name Calathrina was first put forward in 1999. This species, as usual, has a body with many pores and a hard body surface.

3. Garantia Compressa

The next example of sponge animals is Garantia which is still included in the class Calcarea. Like most sponges, this species has many pores, and a hard surface, and was first given the scientific name in 1780.

4. Basket of Venus Flowers (Aspergillium)

Is a glass sponge that is in the sea and can be found in the Pacific Ocean, usually found at a depth of 500 meters. Just like other sponges, this Venus flower basket filters seawater to eat plankton and belongs to the Hexactinalidae class.

5. Spongia Officinalis

The next example of a sponge animal from the Demospongiae class is Spongia Officinalis. Just like the other types, it has a porous body but not a hard body, and has slow growth. These animals can also absorb oxygen from seawater by diffusion.

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