Sea background

Sponges (phylum porifera) are probably the least animal-like of all animals. They are in fact the most primitive of the multicellular animals. They lack all internal organs, a neural system and sensory organs and can almost better be described as a colony of single celled animals. They do, however, have specialized cells that have different roles within the sponge.

Sponges cannot move at all and can look like mats or spongy balls. Some species are erect and branch out like plants. All sponges are filter feeders.

Bathroom sponges were originally made from warm water sponge species. However, this is impossible with Icelandic sponges as they contain a multitude of small needle like spicules that can badly irritate the skin. Sponges also defend themselves with chemicals and these have drawn the attention of the biotechnology industry.

It is very difficult to identify sponges to species because there can be a great variation within species and many species are similar as well. To identify the species a specialist is needed to look at the internal structure in a microscope.

Many sponge species are found in Eyjafjörður and they are especially conspicuous on hard bottom. However, it is not yet possible to identify what species they are.

svampur-1-erlendur bogason Sponge (photo Erlendur Bogason) Sponge (photo Erlendur Bogason)

svampur-2-erlendur-bogason Sponge (photo Erlendur Bogason) Sponge (photo Erlendur Bogason)

svampur-3-erlendur-bogason Sponge (photo Erlendur Bogason) Sponge (photo Erlendur Bogason)







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