Man Eating Sponges

Be careful there are 9 new species of carnivorous sponges. Luckily they are all deep sea so your chances of encountering one on any day are limited. But when the squid overlords take over they may call upon the sponges for the battle. You may not be scared but Vacelet (2006) describes how these are predators with spicules that are hooked for capturing invertebrate prey. Image from Vacelet (2006 Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society).


5 Replies to “Man Eating Sponges”

  1. How do they eat flesh? What makes them so awesome, for I know they are, I just want to know how?

  2. Very interesting. Can the case be made that sponges “are a Homeland Security Issue.” ??


  3. Well they are not crinoids! I don’t think so but this is intuition and I cannot envisage the mechanism by which this would occur. They are flesh eaters of small zooplankton hanging near the bottom. The exact mechanism I am unclear about but will find out just for you! With those hooks I think they should definitely be our number one priority. I guess this means I can’t board a plane with one!

  4. I do believe they have small filaments, that hook and capture the small prey trapping them in the sponge itself. Research showed that the prey kept struggling to free itself for hours, hence they do not release any toxins or paralyzing agents. After several days the filament hooks that caught the prey grow and envelope the food, and the food is digested into the sponge.

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