THE BARREL SPONGES OF PELONG RIDGES

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The North West side of the Island of Pelong ~ nearshore within the Bay of Brunei ~ is prone to strong currents due to its location. It’s steep rocky ridges elevated in the water ~ give rise to a combination of often strong currents providing much nutrient flow needed by ‘barrel sponges’ and good intensity of light required by photosynthetic corals.

Typically both soft and hard corals in these locations tend to be short and tufty due the strength of the wave action ~ but barrel sponges due to their robust surface may grow quite large in locations such as these.

Their hard surface is deeply ridged ~ which aids with the channeling of water. The skeleton is made from scattered ‘spicules of silica’ and organic collagen called ‘spongin’.

Although they may look plant-like, sponges are the simplest of multi-cellular animals. Sponges are very effective filter feeders. The scientific term for sponges is Porifera which literally means “pore-bearing.”

A sponge is covered with tiny pores called ‘ostia’. Beating ‘flagella’ force water through the sponge and ‘collar cells’ pick up tiny bits of food brought in with the water.

Water circulating within the sponge ~ brings in nutrients and oxygen and carries out waste and carbon dioxide.

Artwork Comments

  • Pamela Phelps
  • NICK COBURN PHILLIPS
  • Kornrawiee
  • NICK COBURN PHILLIPS
  • EdsMum
  • NICK COBURN PHILLIPS
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