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Temporal range: Late Cambrian - Early Devonian[1]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Porifera
Class: Hexactinellida
Order: Reticulosa
Genus: Protospongia
Species: P. hicksi
Binomial name
Protospongia hicksi
Hinde, 1888[2]

Protospongia is a genus of Porifera known from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. 102 specimens of Protospongia are known from the Greater Phyllopod bed, where they comprise 0.19% of the community.[3]


Modern sponges are widely agreed to be descendents of the earliest cell colonies that evolved into modern animals. The earliest fossil evidence for sponges are tiny sponge spicules, which first appeared very close to the end of the Proterozoic era. They probably evolved as protection, as well as support, during the great arms race at the start of the Cambrian explosion.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Botting, J. (2007). "‘Cambrian’ demosponges in the Ordovician of Morocco: Insights into the early evolutionary history of sponges". Geobios. 40 (6): 737–748. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2007.02.006. 
  2. ^ A monograph of the British fossil sponges. Hinde, G. J., 1888, Part 2, 93-188
  3. ^ Caron, Jean-Bernard; Jackson, Donald A. (October 2006). "Taphonomy of the Greater Phyllopod Bed community, Burgess Shale". PALAIOS. 21 (5): 451–65. JSTOR 20173022. doi:10.2110/palo.2003.P05-070R.