Invertebrate Research: Stove Pipe Sponge

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Lena Stringham
Coach Watson
Aquatic Science P.5
3/23/2013
Invertebrate Research – Stove Pipe Sponge
If a diver or went snorkeling, it would be very lucky to find the Aplysina archeri, also known as the Stove Pipe Sponge. This sponge is in the Kingdom of Animalia, Phylum of Porifera, Class of Demosphongiae, Order of Verongida, Family of Aplysinidae, Genus of Aplysina, and Species of A. archeri. This sponge gets its name from its cylindrical shape and long tube like structure. It can grow up to 150 cm long with diameter of 10 cm. Sometimes they grow as a single tube but it usually in groups with up with as many as 22 tubes, usually in contact at their base. Their exterior is rubbery covered with bumps and ridges and colored pink, brown, or purple grayish. Unlike their outside their insides are remarkably smooth and often cream colored, always lighter than their exterior. They live on reefs from the drop off to deep water and can be found in the Atlantic Ocean. They are very popular in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, and Bonaire. Snails feed off these sponge but are no threat to them compared to humans. The dense populations of these sponges have gone down because of toxic dumps and the oil spill. Stove Pipe Sponges are filter feeders and eat plankton or suspended detritus as it passes them. They reproduce sexually and asexually. When they release sperm, it floats in the oceans water and eventually lands somewhere. Wherever it lands, it begins to reproduce cells and grow. They can take up to hundreds of years to grow and don’t stop until they die. Two interesting facts about the Stove Pipe Sponges are they get largest in turbid water and they can buckle and bend with their weight. Credits- www.animaldiversity.org, www.wetwebmedia.com
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