To see several of my wildlife images on apparel, accessories, and many other fun products, visit my Zazzle store. Like most sponges, they pump water through their bodies to obtain food: plankton, bacteria and nutrients from the seawater. Brittle and crumbly in consistency. The largest species of sponge (Porifera) is the giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta).It grows at depths from 10 m (33 ft) down to 120 m (390 ft), and can reach a diameter of 1,8 – 2 m (6 – 6,6 ft). The domain is Eukarya. The family is Petrosiidae. Illustration of a giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) used in a life history poster. The Blue Barrel Sponge provides a habitat for various invertebrates. Since 1997, the Pawlik … Purple to red brown externally, tan internally. From: The Flora and Fauna of Pulley Ridge – the Deepest Mesophotic Reef off the Continental U.S. Retrieving food via the water that flows through the main pore of the sponge. 2010), where this sponge is now the most important habitat-forming animal on the reefs . Not only are they the largest sponges on the reef, but they also are very long lived – up tp thousands of years. Length - 1.5m Depth - … Read more in the article: "Sponge feces as the driving force behind tropical coral reefs". Respiratory System. To prevent other sponges from attacking them, Sponges can produce chemicals to keep other sponges cells from growing. Also known as Barrel-sponge Crab, Fairy Crab, Fairy Lobster, Hairy Pink Lobster, Hairy Pink Squat Lobster, Pink Hairy Squat Lobster, Pink Squat Lobster, Sponge Crab. Giant Barrel Sponge. This group of sponges are known to reach massive sizes and ages of 2000 years or more in warm Caribbean seas (Van Soest, 2012). The barrel sponges of the western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the Caribbbean Sea are among the largest of all sponges. The genus is Xestospongia. The giant barrel sponge Xestospongia muta a particularly important species; populations constitute a significant amount of overall reef biomass, are an important component of habitat heterogeneity, and filter large amounts of seawater. Found around the giant barrel sponges - Xestospongia testudinaria over coral and rocky reefs. Despite the key role of sponges as structural components, habitat providers, and nutrient recyclers in reef ecosystems, their dispersal dynamics are little understood. Physical Features . Three species of giant barrel sponge are currently recognized in two distinct geographic regions, the tropical Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific. The Blue Barrel Sponge has the nickname "Redwood of the Reef" because of … Giant barrel sponges are actually animals, despite the fact that they grow fixed to the reef or the ocean bottom, giving us the impression that they are plants. It can grow up to 35 feet and can stretch itself up to 6 feet wide. It is shaped like a barrel and thats where it gets its name from. It has been called the ‘redwood of the reef’ because of its size (often >1 m height and diameter) and presumed long life, but very little is known about its demography. Similar to all types of sponges, the barrel sponge filter feeds. [Figure][1] Hospitable habitat. Giant barrel sponges in the genus Xestospongia may be among the largest benthic invertebrates providing habitat and fulfilling ecosystem services on reefs where coral is declining. The Blue Barrel Sponges' tissues contains photosynthetic symbiotic cyanobacteria which gives it its color. Giant barrel sponges, such as Xestospongia muta, are referred to by some as "Redwoods of the Reef." The chemicals that a sponge produces are being used to find a cure for cancer and many other diseases! Sponge poop plays a key role in tropical reef ecosystems. Giant Barrel Sponge; Giant Caribbean Sea Anemone; Giant Carpet Anemone; Giant Clam; Giant Devilray; Giant Kelp; Giant Manta Ray; the Full Creature Index Petitions. Featured Campaign Save the Oceans, Feed the World. Resolving the genetic connectivity of coral reef taxa is necessary to understand the community dynamics of these increasingly threatened ecosystems. The bumpy surfaces of barrel sponges like this Giant Barrel Sponge (Xestospongia muta) provide habitat for a wide range of fishes and critters. Giant barrel sponge Xestospongia muta Giant barrel sponges are common inhabitants of coral reefs, especially in the Caribbean. Barrel shaped, with thick walls. The class is Demospongiae. Giant Barrel Sponge has shades of gray color, brown, red brown or rose purple color. We have monitored permanent plots on reefs off Key Largo, Florida, USA, to study the demography of a particularly important species, the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta. Comparison of the mean ± 1 SD incurrent (ambient) availability and sponge‐mediated flux of C and DO for the giant barrel sponges X. testudinaria and X. muta. Illustration of the structure and anatomy of a typical sponge (barrel sponge, phylum porifera). Giant barrel sponges are actually animals, despite the fact that they grow fixed to the reef or the ocean bottom, giving us the impression that they are plants. Symbiotic ties, bioactive compounds, and mysterious distributions of bacteria characterize these ancient invertebrates. They may be over 100 years old, as the sponges grow only about 1.5 cm a year. 1. It is also the largest species of sponge in the Caribbean. It is one of the biggest sponges in the world. about the demographics of sponges on coral reefs, despite their abundance and the important functions they perform (e.g., increased habitat complexity, water filtration). 2. The giant barrel sponge Xestospongia muta dominates Caribbean coral reef communities, where it is an important spatial competitor, increases habitat complexity, and filters seawater. It’s habitat is on mid range to deep coral reefs and muddy sand bottoms in deeper water. The phylum is Porifera. Populations of the giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) increased by 46% over six years, beginning in 2000, on reefs off the Florida Keys (McMurray et al. 415). This sponge was given its name due its hollow center and its round and open top, giving it a resemblance to a barrel. About the Giant Barrel Sponge The Giant Barrel Sponges are barrel-shaped sponges with a rough, hard exterior. Various critters can often be found resting inside these sponges. Some degraded reefs are characterized by high levels of sedimentation and low coral cover in this area, but support large populations of the ecologically important giant barrel sponge Xestospongia spp. Also known as Giant Barrel Sponge, Great Vase Sponge, Marine Sponge, Siliceous Sponge, Volcano Sponge. Giant specimens may reach a diameter of up to 2 meters. Length - 1.5cm Depth - 2-20m Widespread Indo-West Pacific A team of scientists led by Dr Lonny Lundsten of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing, California, has discovered an extraordinary new species of carnivorous sponge. Surface with protuberances with round or blade-like outlines. Giant BArrel Sponge . Found singly or in small colonies over reef faces and flats of coral and rocky reefs. They feed on zooplankton. We are restoring the world’s wild fish populations to serve as a … 3. did you know that the Giant Barrel Sponge can live for over 2,000 years. Rumble / Unreal Animals — Giant barrel sponges are actually animals, despite the fact that they grow fixed to the reef or the ocean bottom, giving us the impression that they are plants. Banded coral shrimps often make homes in vase sponges, like this (probable) Pink Vase (Niphates digitalis), Roatan, Honduras. > Symbiotic ties, bioactive compounds, and mysterious distributions of bacteria characterize these ancient invertebrates ! Small fish and many invertebrates live on and inside these huge animals, which live on tropical coral reefs. Resolving the genetic connectivity of coral reef taxa is necessary to understand the community dynamics of these increasingly threatened ecosystems. Their hollow bodies can grow to around 2m (6.5ft) tall and 2m (6.5ft) wide, large enough to hold an adult human. Top Facts About Sponges. It can also have several different shaped openings. They feed on plankton. Close up of a giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, which provides habitat for many creatures including a squat lobster (right) and a brittle star (left).Imaged within the Pulley Ridge Habitat Area of Particular Concern, off the southwest coast of Florida. They can be gray, brown, red-brown or rose-purple. Giant Barrel Sponge. | Life science, biomedical, caricatures, cartoons, editorial and general stock art illustration by Dave Carlson They are impressive in their size and their presence in the underwater world, but the facts about them and their importance to the health of the reef and the ocean is truly surprising. The kingdom is Animalia. That is longer than you can live! Herein, we assess the fine scale genetic connectivity of six populations of the Atlantic giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta … Herein, we assess the fine scale genetic connectivity of six populations of the Atlantic giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta (Schmidt, 1870), using The Blue Barrel Sponge is a filter feeder. It is also known as Xestospongia Muta and it has brittle, incompressible, and easy to break consistency. It is the largest of the reef-dwelling invertebrate in these areas. Incurrent C and DO concentrations are reported as μmol C L seawater −1 and μmol O 2 L seawater −1 , respectively. They are impressive in their size and their presence in the underwater world, but the facts about them and their importance to the health of the reef and the ocean is truly surprising. The order is Haplosclerida. Oscules on the inner side of vase; 0.2 - 0.3 cm (Ref. For the Giant Barrel Sponge, the way it retrieves food is very similar to that of a sponge, however instead of the many pores a sponge holds the barrel sponge uses the main hole as a way to live. Classification The Encrusting Sponge K. Animalia P. Porifera C. Demospongiae O. Poecilosclerida F. Crambeidae G. Monachora S. Monachora Arbuscula Habitat They encrust dead areas of reefs, encrusting forms especially around the bases of living coral heads They distribute Sponges can cotain 16,000 other animals inside of it. The Giant Barrel Sponge can be found in the Caribbean sea, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and in reefs around Florida. habitat for other organisms and filtering vast amounts of seawater.21,22 Therefore, the tight interaction of giant barrel sponges with their environment makes them an interesting model to study the relationship between metabolites and environmental factors. 4.