Phylum Porifera: Sponges Characteristics

AuthoritativePortland avatar

Start Quiz

Study Flashcards

15 Questions

What is the main function of the internal skeletons in many sponges?

Support and structure

What is the primary habitat of sponges?

Marine environments

What is the characteristic structure of sponges that allows water to circulate through them?

System of pores and canals

What type of animals are sponges with regards to cell layers?


How do sponges obtain food, oxygen, and remove waste?

Maintaining constant water flow through their bodies

What is the primary lifestyle of sponges?

Sessile aquatic animals

What do most species of sponges feed on?

Bacteria and other food particles in the water

What role do some sponges play for photosynthesizing microorganisms?

Hosting them as endosymbionts

What is the basic body symmetry exhibited by sponges?


Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of sponges?

Presence of a nervous system

What is the primary function of spongin and spicules in sponges?

To provide structural support

Which of the following statements about sponges is true?

They are multicellular, Diploblasts animals

What distinguishes sponges from most other animals?

Reliance on maintaining water flow for obtaining food and oxygen

What is the role of photosynthesizing microorganisms in some sponges?

To produce more food and oxygen than they consume

What type of environment do most sponges live in?


Study Notes


  • The internal skeleton in many sponges provides structural support and protection.

Habitat and Lifestyle

  • Sponges primarily inhabit marine environments, from shallow tide pools to deep-sea habitats.
  • Sponges are sessile, meaning they are attached to one place, and are often found in coral reefs, rocky shores, and muddy or sandy bottoms.

Structural Characteristics

  • Sponges have a unique characteristic structure that allows water to circulate through them, with tiny pores (ostia) allowing water to enter and a central cavity (spongocoel) that funnels water out through the osculum.
  • Sponges are diploblastic, meaning they have two primary layers of cells: the outer ectoderm and the inner endoderm.

Feeding and Respiration

  • Sponges obtain food, oxygen, and remove waste through the process of filter feeding, where water is drawn in through the ostia and out through the osculum, trapping nutrients and oxygen.

Food Source and Symbiotic Relationships

  • Most species of sponges feed on small particles, such as bacteria, algae, and detritus.
  • Some sponges provide a habitat for photosynthesizing microorganisms, which produce nutrients that benefit the sponge.
  • These microorganisms receive protection and a nutrient-rich environment in return.

Body Symmetry and Characteristics

  • Sponges exhibit radial symmetry, meaning their body is organized around a central axis.
  • Sponges lack a true digestive system, nervous system, and Circulatory system.

Spongin and Spicules

  • The primary function of spongin and spicules is to provide structural support and protection to the sponge.

Key Facts

  • Sponges are multicellular, but they lack true tissues and organs.
  • Sponges are able to regenerate lost or damaged parts.
  • Sponges play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, providing habitat and food for many other organisms.

Learn about the general characteristics of sponges, animals belonging to the Phylum Porifera. Explore their diverse nature and unique traits, such as asymmetry and internal skeletons. Discover the significance of their system of pores and canals for water circulation.

Make Your Own Quizzes and Flashcards

Convert your notes into interactive study material.

More Quizzes Like This

Use Quizgecko on...