Carnivorous sponge and prey

Carnivorous sponge and prey

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Carnivorous sponge (Asbestopluma hypogea) and its crustacean prey (orange). This sponge's elongated filaments, extending from its white oval body, are used to hook onto and trap its prey. The sponge's cells then migrate to cover and digest the prey. A sponge is a collection of unspecialized cells, and does not have any internal organs. This sponge is less than a centimetre across, and unique in its feeding habits. It is a deep-water sponge, found in 1994 in the 3PP cave off France's Mediterranean coast. This cave, near La Ciotat, is at a depth of 15-24 metres. It traps cold water (13-15 degrees Celsius), allowing it to support a unique ecology of organisms that normally inhabit deeper waters.

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Keywords: 3pp, animal, asbestopluma hypogaea, bathyeal, bathyic, carnivore, carnivorous, caught, cave, cold, crustacean, deep, france, french, invertebrate, invertebrates, la ciotat, marine, mediterranean, migrant, nature, night, ocean, porifera, poriferan, prey, sea, shrimp, special, sponge, strange, tentacle, tentacles, trapped, underwater, unique, water, wildlife, zoology

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