Sea Sponges

Topics: Animal, Evolution, Photosynthesis Pages: 2 (609 words) Published: February 16, 2009
Sea Sponge Article The title of the article I was assigned to read in Marine Biology was called “This is your ancestor” by Jack McClintock and Richard Barnes, published in November 2004. This article is about tracing evolution in terms of seas sponges. A micro biologist named, Mitchell Sogen was tracing the DNA chain of animals to find the very first species that rooted off into all other animals including humans. “When micro biologist Mitchell Sogen decided to trace human evolution to its roots, he had no idea he might find sponges” (Page 1.). Sogens research was based on the findings of Carl Woose, who had the same idea in 1977 but had insufficient technology to prove his findings. Sogen decided to go even further into the DNA ribbon. After more than a year of research, comparing the DNA of thousands of animals, including humans, Sogen found a key link between human and sea sponge DNA that appeared to match one another. This finding was revolutionary as no one has ever gotten so far in this type of evolutionary research. Sponges are very unique creatures. They have no organs, no veins, and no nerve endings as other creatures do. Sponges appear to merely sit on the ocean floor while sea water passes in and out of them. After Sogen made his initial discovery, he decided to more closely examine the sea sponge itself. One way he did this was to place a sea sponge in a jar and monitor it for 48 hours. Over the 48 hours he observed that the sponge actually moves on its own, very very slowly. He did this experiment several times and noticed that the sponge would climb up the wall of the jar. In order to determine how the sponge moves, he dissected one and realized that the sponge has thousands of cells with tail like flagella that enable it to move itself along the sea bottom and push food through its pores. There were still holes in Sogens research in terms of linking human evolution to sponges. After continuing his research for some time, he was getting...
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