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Photo of a SpongePhylum Poriphora

The Sponges are the simplest of the multicellular animals. They usually attach to hard substrate where water movement is strong.

The body wall has many small pores, called ostea. Sponges are filter feeders. Inflowing water flows in through a series of filter chambers which supply the sponge with unicellular algae and bacteria as food, provides oxygen and removes carbon dioxide in gas exchange, as well as removing excretory products and reproductive gametes.

Graphic of the structure of a Sponge

Click here to see how a sponge gets its food.


Bennett, I. (1987) W.J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.

Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. New Holland, Sydney.

Edgar, G.J. (1997) Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books, Kew.

Quinn, G.P., Wescott, G.C. & Synnot, R.N. (1992) Life on the Rocky Shores of South-Eastern Australia: an illustrated field guide. Victorian National Parks Association, Melbourne.

Marine Research Group of Victoria (1984) Coastal Invertebrates of Victoria: an atlas of selected species. Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.

Niesen, T.M. (1982) The Marine Biology Coloring Book. Barnes & Noble, New York.


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Environmental Factors
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Feeding Relationships



photo of Keith DaveyLife on Australian Seashores
by Keith Davey (C) 2000

Learning Consultant - Media
The University of Newcastle

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Scientific Consultant: Phil Colman
site created 01.01.98 : updated 01.04.2000