Porifera, the Sponges

bread crumb sponge The first animal phylum at which we look is called Porifera. This phylum consists of the sponges. Although they are comparingly very simle organisms the sponges were the first multicellular animals. They consist of a system of cells organised around canals, pores, and chambers; through which the water is moved. Although there are no systems, body organs or tissues a sponge colony consist of three different types of cells that all perform different functions.
The Bread Crumb Sponge pictured above is one of the more common types. It can be found under rocks in lower intertidal, and subtidal zones. This sponge eats plankton, which it filters through its volcano-like oppenings. If you go tidepooling look for it to be a brownish-green color, with the texture feltlike, or gritty. Most of the time sponges will be in an encrusting or vaselike form.

I'm ready to turn the page!