LM of sponge spicules & plates from sea cucumbers

LM of sponge spicules & plates from sea cucumbers

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Credit: M.I. WALKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light micrograph showing spicules (spines and "anchors") from marine sponges (Porifera), and ossicles (plates and "wheels") from sea cucumbers. The body structure of both marine sponges and sea cucumbers is supported by intricate skeletal elements of silica or calcium. In sponges these are called spicules which are variously shaped, but commonly spine-like or hooked. Sea cucumber ossicles take on the shape of flattened plates, perforated wheels, buckles and crosses. The shape of spicules and ossicles are often specific to the species of sponge or cucumber, and can be used as an identification tool. Magnification: x20 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: animal, cucumber, invertebrate, invertebrates, light micrograph, nature, ossicles, porifera, poriferan, sea, sea cucumber, spicule, spicules, sponge, wildlife, zoology

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