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Good article Sponge has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
December 14, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Sponge:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Merge : Discuss merge
  • Wikify : Reduce intro to 4 paragraphs max by making it more concise and introductory. Only if help for readers, not just for conceived number.
Priority 3


Unorganized discussions[edit]

are there also one-cellular animals, or are they all classified as Protista? AxelBoldt

I don't know for sure, but I would think so. maybey i could! I should ! I will make the article more unclear on that subject? (also, I actually didn't see the PBS show myself, but someone I was chatting with on IRC was watching it and I was aghast to discover no sponge article here on Wikipedia. Had to fix that quick. :) Bryan Derksen

All sponges are in the kingdom animalia and are therefore multi-cellular (protista are single-celled organisms that sometimes form colonies). Although the interaction of those cells is very primitive compared to the cells in your body or even in a worm. As a side note, some groups of sponges are little more than collections of cells that work together on a higher level than colonial organisms have. --maveric149

There's also Porifera, we should probably merge. Animalia confirms that all animals are multi-cellular, so we can drop the "multi-cellular" from the text of the article. AxelBoldt

Sorry I missed this discussion. There's a small group of single-celled eukaryotes, called the Myxozoa, which probably evolved from Cnidaria and so could be counted as animals. But this is just as a matter of interest - the implication of multicellularity is still there. --Josh Grosse

Very interesting! I wasn't aware of such an organism. However, I personally wouldn't count them as animals just because they evolved from them (would have to know more about their physiology first; also would have to look again at the definition of animalia - which I am pretty sure precludes single-celled organisms). Cases like this is what the kingdom Protista is for -- for all the non-conformist organisms that defy our insistance on artifically grouping them anywhere else. One could also argue that viruses are in fact bacteria, since they probably evolved from them. But that is another story.... All this is very fascinating and should be researched. --maveric149, Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Biologists nowadays tend to define groups in terms of evolutionary relationships, rather than in terms of characteristics, where possible. It works out better that way. As for viruses evolving from bacteria, well, remember there are at least two unrelated group of prokaryotes (Eubacteria and Archaea)... --JG

As a biologist, I do need to point out that all life on earth is decended from a single ancestral species. So solely basing things on evolutionary relationships, one could argue that we are all in the same kingdom. Such arguements are interesting but not very useful. If in fact B is decended from A and is very different from A, then you might be able to argue that B forms a separate group, family, or kingdom -- depending on the amount of difference. Oddball eukaryotes that have equally strange evolutionary relationships are grouped with the protists in their kingdom. All this really is is nomenclature -- and it arises from our stubborn insistence on grouping things and therefore naming and making them perhaps more different in our minds than they actually are. However, it still is useful to group things in a logical way based upon sets of criteria. That is what makes the science of biology possible. But this is beginning to be more philosophy than biology..... --maveric149, Monday, April 8, 2002

As a protobiologist (BSc in genetics), I thought I might add that saying all Earth life currently alive descended from a single ancestral species might be a bit of an oversimplification; many of the theories of abiogenesis that I've read up on feature a complex network of chemical reactions slowly evolving its way over from non-life into a life-like state; it could well be that by the time it reached the point that it could be reasonably divided into "species" there were already many closely related ones in existance. But that's dealing with an era before prokaryotes were invented, not really a relevant domain where we're discussing something as incredibly advanced as sponges. :) Bryan Derksen, Monday, April 8, 2002

I suggest a short lay definition for Sponges in the Sponge article and have a link to Porifera where most of the content will be. --maveric149

The section on commercial uses of sponges should stay here, though, since people never buy or sell "poriferates" to use for cleaning :) Bryan Derksen

I have uploaded a photo of a sponge. I know nothing about sponges but I stumbled across this restriction-free image (of what I'm fairly sure is a sponge skeleton of some sort) and then noticed that this page had no images, so perhaps it would be an improvement... Ds13 09:29, 2004 Feb 24 (UTC)

Good work on image, will try go do that. Have removed spicules need to be explained. from the article, placing here instead.Mat-C 17:45, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

How is 'spongocoel' pronounced? spUnj-o-seal? spOng-o-cole? Jenks 09:15, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I learned it pronounced as the former, and has it pronounced as a long "e" also. 22:20, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Since sponges lack muscles and nerves, which all animals have, I would not list sponges as animals. I believe that we should reclassify porifera as a kingdom of multicellular organisms.

Ŭalabio 07:43, 2004 Jul 15 (UTC)

All other animals have muscles and nerves - except, of course, things like Placozoa and Myxozoa. The point is sponges are the closest relatives of the other animals, possibly even paraphyletic to them, and share many of their important characteristics. Thus, their traditional classification as animals seems secure. If it turned out they were a genuinely unrelated group, then they'd have to be treated as a separate kingdom, or more likely a phylum of Protista. Josh 09:26, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Added ==Geological history== and other text from an article I originally wrote in 1998 and published on the Web.

Dlloyd 20:42, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Portions of this text are :

"Copyright © 1995-1997 The Fossil Company Ltd. © 1997-1999 The British Fossil Company Inc. and licensed by the owner under the terms of the Wikipedia copyright." Please contact me if you need further clarification on this.

Dlloyd 00:46, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Since this is semi-protected, could someone please link "mesohyl" to its article? (And delete this note once done?) (talk) 23:24, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Done - and a few other terms in the lead - thanks for raising this. --Philcha (talk) 00:08, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Page needs major editing[edit]

This is a pretty nice page, but it could use some major reorganization and breakdown. Geological history appears at the bottom, while fossil talk is above. There seems to be cruft regarding mobile versus non-mobile that should be clarified. There are also sponges that bore into rocks ( and ( (These are the first couple links off Google for 'sponge blender', trying to make sure I'm not spreading misinformation.)

Is there anyone 'in charge' of this page or that feels up for the task?

Colour correcting pictures[edit]

Please don't colour correct my marine photographs. Thanks.

Dlloyd 08:56, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Well.... The colour corrected version is totally and utterly inaccurate for one thing. All of the sponges like this one were a muted yellow colour, even at shallow depth. Not the bright, heavily red of the "corrected" image. So, someone comes along, "corrects" my photograph, and then replaces my original with a version which looks absolutely nothing like the sponge which I saw and photographed at 100+ feet.......Then to top it off, someone who doesn't even know if the image is a sponge or a marine worm tube comes along and comments that NOAA has better pictures anyway. Dlloyd 00:44, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Guess the color correction was me. I have moved that image to a separate location now. Sorry -- Chris 73 Talk 03:59, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)

So, you think that your images can't be edited? You DO know this is a joiint project, right? All of your images, as well as all of the articles you have edited, are released to public editing. That's the nature of the game. RickK 05:35, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)

Of course his images can be edited, but he's politely requesting that they aren't replaced like this. We should respect his preferences if we appreciate high-quality images like this. I think the normal picture looks better, and has the advantage of showing what sponges actually look like. The other one looks distinctly false color, and that's not even knowing what color the sponge was supposed to be. Josh 05:59, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Listing every image he's ever posted to Wikipedia for speedy deletion and leaving the project in a huff is not politely requesting. RickK
No, it isn't. It's saying he feels his contributions haven't been appreciated, and to say "too late, you already made them" is inappropriate. Josh

Strange sea creature[edit]

Could anyone help me identify the strange creatures in this picture? Thanks, Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 23:06, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)

Immune System[edit]

Do Sponges (Porifera) have an immune system?

No, they don't. As a matter of fact they don't have any organis at all. What they do have is some immunity of cellulair level.

Sponges as Missing Link to Multi-Cellular Animals[edit]

I am just a lay person.

My impetus for reading this page was the astonishing fact that you can put a sponge in a blender (love those chocolate sponge milkshakes), and yet it reforms into a sponge.

The information on how this can happen is there (the different cells types), but the description of a sponge as merely a tube might lead one to think it is a only a colony. My understanding is that sponges have an internal "heart"-like water pump that sucks water rapidly through the sponge. The existence of this water pump would negate the idea of a simple colony.

So, would it be speculative or too overt to suggest that sponges are a fascinating Pre-Cambrian "first step" from unicellular to multi-celluar organisms? It is inferred, of course, but can it overted stated?


I totally agree with the merge. --TheLimbicOne 18:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

-- 03:39, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Me too, it doesn't make sense to have two articles for the same subject.

Is there any information on the Porifera/Temp page that isn't already here? Merging might not even be necessary. Phoenix-forgotten 19:34, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Ancient use of natural sponges[edit]

Does anyone know where to find information on the first known use of natural sponges by humans? Searching the internet hasn't turned up much except that ancient Greeks dived for sponges and brought the practice to Florida. A better source than this would be nice. Phoenix-forgotten 19:34, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

---Searching the internet has also let us know that the ancient Greeks dove, rather than dived. But a point well taken.A sponge is a animal taht does not move from place to place.a sponge spends half of its life attached to a rock or to other hard surfaces.The name of some sponges are: Purple vase,Red branching,and Venus's Flower basket.


To the maybe three people who actually give a damn about the sponge page: I know that Wikipedia policy says to be bold, but maybe I was bit much so. I thought the article needed to be completely reworked, and this is what I have done. I also merged whatever information wasn't redundant in the Porifera/Temp page into this one, and then deleted said page. I tried to address many of the complaints that have been put forth on the talk page. Hopefully most people will find my edit to be an improvement. This was done a bit hastily, and so I'm sure there are some minor mistakes (spelling, grammar, links, etc.). I'll look through and try to fix these in time, but please feel free to do it yourselves. If anyone wants to berate me or threaten my family, feel free to visit my talk page. I look forward to any feedback. Cerealkiller13 00:59, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and since I made a large number of organizational edits, be careful in assuming that I have deleted content. Before reinstating content you believe to be lost, search the article carefully. I did a lot of moving and deleting of redundant info, so it's highly likely that the info is still in the article somewhere. Although I admit that I did delete some content that I believed to be erroneous or unnecessary. Cerealkiller13 01:18, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Uses for sponges (esp. natural tampon use)[edit]

Can we add some common uses for sponges on this article??? What sponges are commonly used for/etc - I would love to see something mentioned about sponges used as a menstrual "tampon"! Thanks!

I second that motion! I would also like to see a portion of the article explain the benefits of sea sponges as a natural alternative to tampons. (from someone who doesn't have a clue about it)


HELP! I appoligize for this but i really need help on my project about sea sponges so if you could send me some helpful facts about sea sponges or if you know anything about cnidarians that would help. thank you Jasmin

I'm assuming you looked at the articles themselves, correct? Because the sponge page is pretty decent, while admittedly the Cnidarian page is a bit shaky (it's in the process of being updated). That email adress doesn't work, so I'd suggest putting some more specific questions and a working email address here if you want some help. Cerealkiller13 22:10, 3 May 2006 (UTC)


Symbiotic freshwater sponges and "albino" sponges near wastewater plant in Indiana[edit]

This article could use some mention of sponges with symbiotic algae. The algae article has sponges listed under Algae and symbioses, with no further explanation. Also, I recall reading an article in the past few years (though I can't turn it up at the moment) about a wastewater treatment plant in Indiana where bacteria used in the treatment process were killed off with ultraviolet light right before treated water was returned to Lake Michigan. This caused the sponges which commonly populate the outfall tubes to develop without their ususal symbiotic algae, since they received sufficient nutrition from the dead bacteria and didn't need to rely on photosynthates. --Theodore Kloba 19:01, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Sponge skeletons[edit]

Are sponges (or their skeletons) technically absorbent, or adsorbent? —Vivacissamamente 20:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Regarding whether sponges are really sessile[edit]

Although sponges are almost always said to be sessile (i.e. incapable of active locomotion), many species of sponges can and do crawl slowly, for example around the inside walls of aquariums, or across rocks in the wild. Sponge locomotion was described in a referreed journal article, by C. Bond and A.K. Harris, Journal of Experimental Biology, volume 246 pages 271-284, and also discussed in a popular magazine "Natural History" January issue 1998, pages 22 to 25. There are also previous publications about sponge locomotion by earlier authors, and the phenomenon is easilly observed and filmed in the laboratory.B Rks

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that researchers who specialize in sponges, and also textbooks, have themselves been sessile, in the sense of clinging to a false belief for so long.

Keep up the good work,

Albert K. Harris

I have heard rumours of sponge locomotion via a focused channeling of water through the myocytes, but nothing else. The abstract of your article seemed to hint at a traction based method, instead of jet propulsion. I would be quite interested to read the aforementioned article, if you could somehow procure me a copy without me having to pay for a subscription to Wiley. Oh, and by the way, it was in The Journal of Experimental Zoology, not Biology. Cerealkiller13 00:48, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Requested move to Sea sponge[edit]

I believe this page should be merged to Sea sponge. Originally I tried to merge it into Porifera, the correct taxinomical name, but I was told that Wikipedia articles should be titled with the most commonly used name. When someone says sponge you do not thinking of a animal, you think of a thing you wash your dishes with made out of plastic. When you want to convey to someone that you are actually talking about the animal, you would refer to them as Sea Sponges. Therefore, it should be moved.Criptofcorbin 12:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

  • In my limited experience with biology, I have only heard them referenced as simply sponges, and never as sea sponges. My vote is for the original name to remain. Cerealkiller13 16:29, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, in biological conversation they are of course not referred to as Sea Sponges because everyone knows you are referring to the animal. However, I think in every day discussions they are referred to as Sea Sponges. I'm not completely sure which way we are supposed to name them, biologically or commonly. If its common, it should be Sea Sponge, if its biological it should really be Porifera, but I will settle for Sponge.Criptofcorbin 11:23, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Moved. Sea sponge is the more specific name in common use, rather than jargon or informal use. —Centrxtalk • 04:59, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Why "Sea sponge"?[edit]

This seems silly to me. There are numerous species that live in freshwater, in some cases these are of particular human interest as significant fouling organisms in canals, pipes, and so on. They are also important ecologically, particularly in lakes. Admittedly, I am a zoologist, but I have yet to hear anyone call these creatures "sea sponges". Rather than being helpful, I think this is creating an artificial name that won't be seen in biology text books or be used by teachers, and is introducing a kind of jargon term to students trying to learn about them. So instead of being helpful, Wikipedia will be giving them a rarely-used name instead of the widely-used one.

What's wrong with Sponge (animal) or simply Sponge; the artificial sponge was invented to replace the more expensive natural sponges, so in terms of priority the phylum Porifera definitely gets the nod. Why not add a disambiguation page on Sponge that says "this article is about the animal; for the cleaning implement, see Sponge (artificial)" or something like that?

Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 16:58, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I second this motion. What happened was that one person nominated the article for a move, and I voted against it. Unfortunately, since there are not enough people who take a great deal of interest in this particular page no consensus was reached (one against one). A third individual apparently provided this consensus and made the move. Perhaps later today I will put up a nomination that the page be moved back and do a bit of advertising to those who have edited the article in the past in order to build a consensus. Cerealkiller13 19:04, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I third this motion. Sea sponge may be a good article title, but not for the content it has now. If no concensus is found with Sponge it could be Porifera. Pro bug catcher 15:43, 11 January 2007 (UTC). Additional comment : Natural sponge is the informal use I'm aware of, not Sea sponge. Pro bug catcher 15:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Edit: I agree, though actually there are only about 150 species of freshwater sponges compared to 5000 marine species. "Sea sponge" does seem like an unusual title though. Porifera as a whole would be more appropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

polyphyly vs. paraphyly?[edit]

The "taxonomy" section currently says: "It has been suggested that the sponges are paraphyletic to the other animals." Assuming this refers to the hypothesis that sponges and other animals evolved independently from choanoflagellates, shouldn't "paraphyletic" be replaced with "polyphyletic" in the text? It seems to me the group "animals" would be polyphyletic, because the group would not include its most recent common ancestor, the ancestral choanoflagellate. But maybe I'm having trouble understanding the meaning of the word "paraphyletic" when used in the sense of "group A is paraphyletic to group B". I'm used to thinking of group A by itself either being paraphyletic or not. --Allen 05:55, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

The hypothesis you describe would indeed imply that animals including sponges are polyphyletic. But the idea about sponge paraphyly is a different theory, namely that some classes of sponge are more closely related to non-sponge animals than to the other sponge classes. If, say, the calcareous sponges are more closer related to other animals than either is to the glass sponges and demosponges, then we other animals can be said to have evolved from sponges, and sponges are a paraphyetic group.
Cephal-odd 07:37, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Sponges are considered animals even though they do not have nerves or muscles.

Merge Pinacoderm, Spongocoel, Sclerocyte and Osculum[edit]

This is far too specific an article and has minimal content. A broader daughter article should be created instead, such as sponge body plan or something like that. I don't think this article is itself large enough to warrant splitting it up, and if it does need to be in future, it can always be discussed here first. Richard001 06:55, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Goodness, there are a lot of them. A few have enough length to warrant consideration for keeping, but the ones I have nominated are all under 1kb. I think a broader article on the anatomy and morphology of sponges might be a good option as many of these articles are far too specific to every grow beyond a half page, but there is certainly need for a more in depth article on the general subject. Summary style would be the best approach. Richard001 08:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
So, the vote is create sponge anatomy, and redirect small articles there, or merge as directed, which means redirecting the stubs here. Here or there? BrewJay 14:09, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, either really. The second option would require a bit more work, though would be desirable in the long run. Richard001 23:23, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
This appears to be the only discussion of the proposal to merge in Pinacoderm, Spongocoel, Sclerocyte and Osculum, which is advertised at the top of Sponge - but not at the top of the other articles. In other words the proposal has not been properly advertised.
oppose merge:
  • There's scope to expand these articles by e.g. explaining how they are produced and how they work.
  • Merging them would place unwelcome constraints on the structure of Sponge to ensure that it provides suitable link / redirect targets.
  • Non-sponge articles link to some of them.
  • For all I know there may be cell types with the same names in non-sponge organisms. Proving that there are not would take a ridiculous amount of research. Without such proof it would be rash to combine them as sections of a separate "sponge cell types" article. Otherwise I'd support a separate "sponge cell types" article.
If no new arguments in favour of merging are presented within a week I'll remove the "merge" banner. -- Philcha (talk) 10:28, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm removing the "merge" banner. --Philcha (talk) 11:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)


The article says "Some taxonomists have suggested a fourth class, Sclerospongiae, of coralline sponges, but the modern consensus is that coralline sponges have arisen several times and are not closely related." Arisen within what? Within either Calcarea, Hexactenellida or Demospongiae? Or all three of them, or just two? I wish this could be a little clearer. It is also mentioned somewhere that Homoscleromorpha may no longer belongs in the Demospongiae. Does it mean it belongs in its own class or somewhere else? 21:52, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


What is the lifespan of sponges? I heard on a TV show that some Antarctic sponges are believed to be thousands of years old, making them the longest-lived animals, but there's no mention of it here, and of course you can't believe everything you hear on TV. —Angr 04:07, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


Does a sea sponge live in deep water, or shallow water, or just about every where? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 28 October 2007 (UTC) You shoulds add how many, and what there names are and alll so the picture

Answer: Sponges mainly live in shallow water, but one class - the glass sponges (Hexactinellida) live in deep water but have different histology to other sponges. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Sponges have sex with cats?[edit]

I may not know a lot about sponges, but i am fairly certain they don't have sex with cats

"The sponges or poriferans sponges usually have sexual intercourse with cats (from Latin porus "pore" and ferre "to bear") are animals of the phylum Porifera. Porifera translates to "Pore-bearer"."

What happened?[edit]

This page used to talk about the fact you can put a sponge in a blender. Where did that fact go? Also we need attention from an expert to add some information on the longevity of sponges. claims they can live to be 700 years old! Also sponges have no brain. What happened to the This Is Your Ancestor link at some magazine???! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


I added that sponges can be pushed through a sieve and then regroup to form new sponges, and it was refernced to a source, I thought it was true but whoever deleted it please enlighten me, I want to know only the truth! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ollie senter (talkcontribs) 14:37, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

It's still there, it just got moved to the "Reproduction" section. —Angr 19:38, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced statements removed[edit]

I have removed the following statements as the have been tagged "citation needed" for several months:

  • However, because Leuconia has more than 2 million flagellated chambers whose combined diameter is much greater than that of the canals, water flow through chambers slows to 3.6cm per hour. Such a flow rate allows easy food capture by the collar cells.
  • Marine sponges come from fisheries in the Mediterranean and West Indies.

If anyone can find sources to back these statements up, feel free to re-add them. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 18:25, 1 January 2008 (UTC)


There is an internal disagreement. Are sponges found up to 8.5km deep (intro), or 6km deep (ecology section)?Helikophis (talk) 20:44, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


It seems that this article is vandalized on at least a daily basis. I think it would be nice if it were semi-protected. How do others feel?Helikophis (talk) 16:35, 20 February 2008 (UTC)


this page needs more info on the sponge systems like digestive, nervous, excertion,circulatory, ect. this sucks, i'm going to fail science class because the lack of information thanks alot wiki —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Somebody has been adding "spongebob" all over the place. somebody who knows more about wiki'ing should fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I notice there has also been vandalism unnoticed for several weeks. It replaced material with nonsense, then the IP that fixed it just removed the nonsense without restoring the replaced material. It's visible here, as a demonstration of the wonderful reliability of Wikipedia. Richard001 (talk) 09:23, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Philcha's notes[edit]

To do:

  • basal laminae of Homoscleromorpha - and does it restrict movement?
  • attachment methods - holdfast, penetration, etc.
  • distribution by temperature
  • diversity by classes?
  • additional cell types?

--Philcha (talk) 15:09, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Help wanted[edit]

There are still some uncited statements, and I've found no sources on:

  • number of species by class
  • how sponges attach to substrates.

Reliable sources (see WP:RS would be helpful. -- Philcha (talk) 11:14, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

A couple of starting points which may, I hope, be useful. I'm afraid I've not gone to the length of checking!
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 05:12, 8 November 2008 (UTC)


I agree that there are structural problems here. Taxonomy really needs to go before Evol. history - you should talk introduce the groups before talking about them. You may be able to include a brief taxo section at the start of the article, especially as the group is paraphyletic.

I think that Geological history also needs merging into Evolutionary history, as it represents a subset of the evolutionary picture. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 05:19, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I intend to delete "Geological history" when I've squeezed it dry (God, did I just say that?) - see "Fossil record".
There's no obvious breakpoint within "Description" at which to insert "Taxonomy". I'm considering a new initial section "Distinguishing features":
  • Features that distinguish sponges from other metazoa
  • Features that distinguish between classes of sponges
  • Summarized by an expanded table
Do you have any comments, or better ideas? -- Philcha (talk) 10:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Unsourced & redundant material[edit]

I've removed the following because it was unsourced or redundant: --Philcha (talk) 21:44, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Water flow and body structures[edit]

Syconoids do not usually form highly branched colonies as asconoids do. During their development, syconoid sponges pass through an asconoid stage.[citation needed]

Geological history[edit]

The fossil record of sponges is not abundant. Some fossil sponges have worldwide distribution, while others are restricted to certain areas. Sponge fossils such as Hydnoceras and Prismodictya are found in the Devonian rocks of New York state. In Europe the Jurassic limestone of the Swabian Alb are composed largely of sponge remains, some of which are well preserved. Many sponges are found in the Cretaceous Lower Greensand and Chalk Formations of England, and in rocks from the upper part of the Cretaceous period in France. A famous locality for fossil sponges is the Cretaceous Faringdon Sponge Gravels in Faringdon, Oxfordshire in England. An older sponge is the Cambrian Vauxia. Sponges have long been important agents of bioerosion in shells and carbonate rocks. Their borings extend back to the Ordovician in the fossil record.

Fossil sponges differ in size from 1 cm (0.4 inches) to more than 1 meter (3.3 feet). They vary greatly in shape, being commonly vase-shapes (such as Ventriculites), spherical (such as Porosphaera), saucer-shaped (such as Astraeospongia), pear-shaped (such as Siphonia), leaf-shaped (such as Elasmostoma), branching (such as Doryderma), irregular or encrusting.

Detailed identification of many fossil sponges relies on the study of thin sections.

Lead section[edit]

The lead section is way too long and has several instances of jargon and information that is too detailed. To get through GAC, this needs to be addressed. - Mgm|(talk) 10:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the lead is unusually long, but the article is about a big subject. At Talk:Arthropod/GA1 the reviewer asked for a second opinon about the lead, and they agreed that it was a case for WP:IAR. Part of the problem is lack of precedents, because few phylum-level articles come close to current GA standards.
If you can point out specific cases where you think the lead is too detailed, please do so.
Likewise for jargon. I'm quite keen on Wikipedia:Make technical articles accessible and am never satified that that I've got the trade-offs between intelligibility and conciseness right, especially in lead sections. Any help you can give in that would be welcome --Philcha (talk) 13:25, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Sponge/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I am going to give this article a Pass because it is, quite simply, a good article. It is well written, complete, neutral, well-sourced, well-organized, and all the images are okay. The main criticism I have, which is not sufficient to put the article on hold, is that the lead is too long. I would suggest that the paragraph starting "Sponges use various materials…" can be simplified (I find it hard to read because of the density of information), and the following paragraph could be omitted from the lead.

This is actually very close to an FA-quality article, I believe. The main thing needed, as I see it, is that it would have to be shortened a bit, probably by moving some of the less essential material into subarticles. Looie496 (talk) 22:38, 14 December 2008 (UTC)


THIS DOES NOT HELP SCIENCE PROJECTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Earliest fossils[edit]

Interesting development at Love et al (2009) "Fossil steroids record the appearance of Demospongiae during the Cryogenian period" Nature 457, 718-721 doi:10.1038/nature07673 Sabine's Sunbird talk 02:17, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up, Sabine's Sunbird. I'd hold off using this one for now: the article's long enough already; the report is about rocks only 55MY earlier than the first fossil sponges; an article already cited notes that a wide survey of chanoflagellates would be needed in order to show that none of these also produces the steroid concerned, 24-isopropylcholestane; geochemistry hypotheses often get severly questioned & modified or even refuted in the 5 yrs after publication. --Philcha (talk) 09:28, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
PS I just got another heads up about this from Dino Mailing List - are you on that too? -Philcha (talk) 09:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Nope, I just have good sponge biologist friends! Sabine's Sunbird talk 11:41, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for thinking of this article. If your good sponge biologist friends could take a look at the article and comment here or pass comments to you I'd be very grateful. --Philcha (talk) 12:19, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Their speciality is ecology, not palaeontology, so they wouldn't be any more help than I. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:31, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

life expectancy?[edit]

How long do sponges live? Kingturtle (talk) 13:19, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

That looks like a complicated question. Aging of Organisms pp 80ff suggests the totipotent cells (those than transform into any other type) may be potentially immortal, but I know too little of aging mechanisms to wrtie that idea into the article. Estimates of the actual ages of some glass sponges range up to 1500 years, based on measured growth rates and the largest sizes of known specimens - but thrse species live in very cold waters, where all biological processes, including aging, are very slow. For species that produce gemmules ("survival pods"), it's hard to tell whether the sponges are long-lived or their skeletons are re-colonised by gemmules of the same species. --Philcha (talk) 17:37, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Nice research! It would be great if a section of this article went into these details. Kingturtle (talk) 17:42, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Gemmules are described in "Reproduction", and some even longer estimates based on sizes and growth rates in "Life cycle". --Philcha (talk)


The introductory section is too long. According to Wikipedia style guidelines it should be no more than 4 paragraphs. So we should shorten it and make it a bit more concise

FireBrandon (talk) 19:18, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Phyla are big subjects, and WP:LEAD also requires an adequate summary of the content. Various reviewers have been happy to WP:IAR on lead length in articles on phyla, see e.g. GA reviews of Arthropod, Mollusc, Cnidaria, Flatworm - and in articles on other big subjects, e.g. Evolutionary history of life. --Philcha (talk) 20:28, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
The number of paragraphs isn't that important, since paragraphs can be of any length. The amount of text however is too intimidating to someone coming across the article. I think it needs to be reduced to about 2/3 its current length (which is about the same length as most of the articles linked). Very nice to see how the much article has improved since I last saw it, by the way. Richard001 (talk) 10:51, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. I think the least damaging cuts would be:
  • Sponges are known for regenerating from fragments that are broken off, although this only works if the fragments include the right types of cells. A few species reproduce by budding. When conditions deteriorate, for example as temperatures drop, many freshwater species and a few marine ones produce gemmules, "survival pods" of unspecialized cells that remain dormant until conditions improve and then either form completely new sponges or re-colonize the skeletons of their parents. However most sponges use sexual reproduction, releasing sperm cells into the water. In viviparous species the cells that capture most of the adults' food capture the sperm cells but, instead of digesting them, transport them to ova in the parent's mesohyl. The fertilized eggs begin development within the parent and the larvae are released to swim off in search of places to settle. In oviparous species both sperm and egg cells are released into the water and fertilisation and development take place outside the parent's bodies.
  • It is generally thought that sponges' closest single-celled relatives are choanoflagellates, which strongly resemble the cells that sponges use to drive their water flow systems and capture most of their food. It is also generally agreed that sponges do not form a monophyletic group, in other words do not include all and only the descendants of a common ancestor, because it is thought that Eumetazoa (more complex animals) are descendants of a sub-group of sponges. However it is uncertain which group of sponges is closest to Eumetazoa, as both calcareous sponges and a sub-group of demosponges called Homoscleromorpha have been nominated by different researchers. In addition a study in 2008 suggested that the earliest animals may have been similar to modern comb jellies. Since comb jellies are considerably more complex than sponges, this would imply that sponges had mobile ancestors and greatly simplified their bodies as they adapted to a sessile filter feeding lifestyle. Chancelloriids, sessile, bag-like organisms whose fossils are found only in rocks from the Cambrian period, increase the uncertainty as it has been suggested that they were sponges but also that their external spines resemble the "chain mail" of the slug-like Halkieriids.
I also looked at the paragraph beginning "Sponges use various materials to reinforce their mesohyl ...", but other parts of the lead depend heavily on this: ecology & distribution depend on construction method; so do the paras on phylogeny and on uses.
You could try develping a new lead on a sub-page and then posting it here for discussion. --Philcha (talk) 14:28, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I agree[edit]

This lede is too long. Somebody ought to tag it as "too long" and then take no further action. (talk) 23:26, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

This article passed a GA review in Dec 2008 and the reviewer was happy with it. GA reviewers of articles on other invertebrate major taxa has discussed lead length and concluded that in such topics it's best to adopt a flexible attitude - see Arthropod, Chelicerate, Flatworm and Annelid - and the reviewers of Mollusc and Ctenophore didn't even raise the subject. --Philcha (talk) 06:05, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Earliest chemical evidence[edit]

I reverted edit, which changes the date from 1,800 million years ago to about 600 million years ago. That edit was based on Ancient sponges leave their mark (2004), which was inserted after the GA review and IMO is irrelevant. Ancient sponges leave their mark (2004), says "The discovery in Oman pushes back the earliest accepted date for animal life on Earth by tens of millions of years" (to 635 million years ago). However it is overridden by the sources originally used, which are more recent and better:

The section as a whole first explains the doubts about chemical evidence of sponges 1,800 million years ago and then concentrates on body fossils. --Philcha (talk) 06:35, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Ah, ok. I assumed the news article link was referring to the published source cited. Dinoguy2 (talk) 16:18, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Comb jellies[edit]

Comb jellies in the table link to some insects. This should be corrected.--Dojarca (talk) 14:57, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Damn, the name Ctenophora has 2 meanings: a marine phylum (= "comb jelly"); and a taxon of insects. We'll need to thse critters "Ctenophora (marine invertebrate)" and "Ctenophora (insect)" and the corresponding "Ctenophore (...)" forms; and then make the unqualified "Ctenophora" and "Ctenophore" disambiguation pages. --Philcha (talk) 23:16, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Body plan[edit]

Some of the individual articles for body plans (Asconoid) are so small that it makes no sense to have them as a standalone article. Merge

I'll start us off with Agree a proskub (talk) 10:02, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

AFAIK all the content in Asconoid is explained more thoroughly and will good refs in Sponge. I suggest Asconoid be a direct to the section of Sponge. --Philcha (talk) 10:19, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Aaba: A genus in the sponge phylum but of an unknown classification (i.e. family/class etc.)[edit]

So I was going through some taxonomy lists ([1]) when I came across "Aaba" which according to this: [2] it is some sort of sponge in this phylum but unknown class/group/family etc. I then did a bit more searching and found this: [3] and then this: [4] so it lead me to this journal (which mind you took me forever to work out what the "anti thesis" of intuitive abbreviations stand for): [5] but as with many things that are the opposite of Wikipedia, I was unable to access it. So I guess if some sponge expert out there might have access to it, to perhaps see if any more info can be found out from that source for this Aaba genus (if anything so it can be directed to its specific family or even class, instead of just doing a standard phylum redirect). Kind regards.Calaka (talk) 05:53, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

The only page that says more than the name is the last one, dated 1936 ad very scanty. Google Scholar would be the place to find it, but GS finds hits for several "Aaba" / "AABA" that nothing about sponges and no hits about sponges. It appears that Aaba is no longer recognised as the name of a sponge. --Philcha (talk) 03:02, 29 April 2010 (UTC)


{{editsemiprotected}} In more than 6 weeks, all the IP edits have been vandalism. Please have it edit-semiprotected. -Philcha (talk) 15:02, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

The template {{editsemiprotected}} is used to request that an edit be made to an already semiprotected page. It should not be used to request semiprotection; for that please see WP:RPP. Intelligentsium 16:18, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, some IPs (such as myself) have to come along and fix it when people cannot spell sponge. (talk) 23:06, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Awong1133, 3 May 2010[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} Porifera live in the water and are sessile. The have no circulatory system, no digestive system, can reproduce sexually and asexually, and have no symmetry. They are a food source for other animals. Examples include sponges, sulfur sponges, branching tube sponges, yellow tube sponges, and commercial sponges. Awong1133 (talk) 21:51, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. -- /MWOAP|Notify Me\ 22:15, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


I think:

  • All the items in the first para are needed as these animals are very strange to most readers: the mesohyl sandwiched between two thin layers of cells; the ability of some already-specialised cells to change into change into; no nervous, digestive or circulatory systems; maintaining constant water flow; environments.
  • How they feed is essential.
  • The 2 paras on reproduction can be combined, with sexual production first but shorter.
  • The para on skeletons can be shorter and simpler.
  • The last 2 sentences of para "It is generally thought that sponges' closest single-celled relatives are choanoflagellates ..."
  • The para on use of sponges is already short, no change needed. --Philcha (talk) 13:13, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

I've made these changes and removed the {{Lead too long|date=December 2010}} tag. --Philcha (talk) 14:16, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

1007D's changes 20 May 2011[edit]

I've undone 1007D's changes:

  • The lead already has fossil history further down. --Philcha (talk) 08:12, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Spongebob Squarepants is already a major cause of vandalism in Sponge, has nothing to the animal sponges, and should not be promoted here. --Philcha (talk) 08:12, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


Why is the lead so short for such a long article? Till I Go Home 14:30, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Filter feeding is not intracellular digestion[edit]

In the section "Respiration, feeding and excretion" it said "They filter food particles out of the water flowing through them, also called intracellular digestion." I don't think anyone calls this filter feeding intracellular digestion. Maybe sponges digest food inside their cells, but even that doesn't make the sentence true. See and . OpenScience (talk) 12:00, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Ecology of sponges[edit]

Ecology of sponges is an unnecessary content fork (WP:CFORK), nearly identical to treatment in Sponge#Ecology. No need to set precedent for "Ecology of...." articles for other organisms: most existing "Ecology of" articles involve geographic locations. --Animalparty-- (talk) 19:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Support this merge - the article Sponge could easily absorb this whole entry with very little actual change. Iztwoz (talk) 18:10, 26 February 2014 (UTC) Yes check.svg Done

FYI: Spicule is now a disambiguation page[edit]

Since "spicule", as a spiky bony or structural protrusion is a term broadly applied to many different structures in unrelated organisms, (e.g. frog skin and poriferan skeletons), I've converted spicule into a disambiguation page. However, many sponge-related links still direct to spicule, (see Pages that link to "Spicule") when they should be directed to Sponge spicule (aka Spicule (sponge). Any experts care to help separate sponge-related redirects from general redirects? This is also a reminder to direct future "spicule" wikilinks to the appropriate article. Thanks. --Animalparty-- (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 1 November 2015[edit]

Latest edit seemed fishy. JWNoctis (talk) 15:01, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Cannolis (talk) 15:17, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 November 2015[edit]

Ortiz Gaytan (talk) 03:29, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

edit request on 13 November 2015[edit]

Ortiz Gaytan (talk) 03:32, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 November 2015[edit]

Ortiz Gaytan (talk) 03:37, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 May 2016[edit]

I'm a bit new to editing Wikipedia, but I'm pretty sure this is how you make a request. Correct me if I'm wrong. Regardless I think Porifera incertae sedis should be added to the list of classes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CltrAltDelicious (talkcontribs) 01:35, 14 May 2016 (UTC)